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Boulder Landscape and Design

Pick the Right Rock for Your New Wall or Patio

Pick the Right Rock for Your New Wall or Patio - fire pitEver Been Stone Shopping? If you are going to build a patio, stone path or retaining wall, you want to take some time deciding exactly what kind of rock you want to use. Just like laying carpet or tile in your home, you will spend hours relaxing with your choice. You want to like it!

Choosing the right rock for your landscape

First, decide the following:

  • Do I want a crisp, modern and formal look, or an informal, more natural feel?
  • What is the design of the rest of my landscape?
  • What would compliment and tie the stonework into the landscape?
  • What color scheme of stone would I like?
  • Do I need to match or coordinate with pre-existing stone?

Pick the Right Rock for Your New Wall or PatioIn general, lighter stone appears more formal, as does granite or uniformly cut blocks. Mortared walls are more formal than dry-stack walls (and more likely to crack with winter freezes). Red flagstone is less formal and more natural especially to the Colorado area. Moss rock helps create a woodsy feel and the tumbled roundness of river rocks help bring a sense of flow and movement to the landscape, especially when used in a dry creek design.

Follow these guidelines when shopping for landscape rock

Rock comes in a wide, ever changing array of texture and colors. It also comes in various cuts and slices. Because Mother Nature is creative and capricious, you will not get a factory duplicate of the same stone you used previously, or that your neighbor used. Rock is unique not only to each quarry, but to different areas in the same quarry. For this reason it is important to to follow these guidelines:

  • Shop around at the various stone suppliers in your area. At first it will feel a lot like looking at big piles of rock. Soon your eye will begin to pick out the differences in color, texture and grain.
  • When you find the rock you like, ask the yard man about it. Will it easily crack or flake? How big a supply do they have? Where did it come from?
  • Make a note of the name and section of the quarry the stone you select came from. Chances are good the supplier has plenty, but just in case, you want to know where you might get more.

Whatever you are creating, you will want to create a base out of matching crusher fines so your stone is set into a medium that can be flexible with winter heaving of the ground. Your stone can then ride on the fines, and be easily reset if needed in the spring.

Boulder Landscape and Design has laid many of the beautiful patios, walls and walkways around Boulder. Call us for a professional design and installation of your project. 303-443-3460