A Beautiful Mulch Made to Endure
Adding mulch to a garden or landscape in Joliet, Shorewood, Plainfield or Lemont (IL) offers multiple benefits. When people think of mulch, they’ll often consider the kinds made with tree wood and bark. What they might not always realize is that decorative stone can also serve as a superb garden or landscaping mulch. In certain cases, the benefits of decorative stone can even surpass those of shredded mulch.
In this review we’ll take a closer look at:
what decorative stone is
what its advantages are
what are the types of decorative stone
choosing a decorative stone
What Is Decorative Stone?
Decorative stone is stone quarried by machine for use in a garden or landscape to enhance its structure, aesthetic and plant growth. Decorative stone also often gives gardens and landscapes a clean, professional look.
Decorative stones are available in a wide range of sizes, colors and textures. You will often see them in residential yards, commercial properties, driveways and parking lots throughout the Midwest, including Joliet, Shorewood, Plainfield and Lemont.
What Are the Advantages of Decorative Stone?
You might use decorative stone in your garden or landscape for a number of reasons, including for its leading advantage: permanence. Because it will not degrade as wood and bark mulches do, you won’t need to reapply it every year or two.
A good layer of decorative stone may last 10 years or longer. Although more expensive than wood or bark mulch up front, decorative stone will cost less to maintain in the long run.
Other notable benefits of decorative stone include:
superb resistance to foot traffic
ease of cleaning
immovability (e.g. it won’t shift because of high winds or heavy rain)
Decorative stone can also help keep you aware of proper grading. To prevent water build-up near your property, the ground should slope away from the foundation line. A rock trim can serve as an early-warning sign of a change in the grade because of a dip in the soil.
When you are considering the pros and cons of decorative stone, one drawback is that stone such as gravel can sometimes become unavailable. The supply of a stone can run dry and you’ll have to wait until it becomes available again.
Decorative stone is much heavier than wood and bark mulch as well, so it will require more time and effort to fill an area. In addition, because of its weight and density, decorative stone usually does not allow the underlying soil temperature to regulate itself, so some plants may run the risk of overheating.
Should you install decorative stone in your garden or landscape, including landscaping fabric as a barrier between the stone and the soil will help control weed growth as well as keep the stones in place and prevent them from sinking.
Today’s landscaping fabric is made to be permeable so water and air can move through it and into the soil and root system.
What Are the Types of Decorative Stone?
Decorative stone is typically categorized by its source, size and shape. Some of the most common types are limestone, sandstone, bluestone, slate, gravel chips and granite. The size of stone can range from pebbles and gravel to boulders and lava rock.
The shapes of decorative stones are defined by their cuts. Some examples are fieldstones, which are stones still in their original shapes, and rough stones, which include any stone from a quarry before it is cut.
River rock is another cut of decorative stone. River rocks are stones that have been smoothed by running water, such as from rivers, lakes or streams. Creative landscapers often use them for versatile applications such as lining a garden, creating borders and decorating fountains and pools.
Other decorative stones referred to as paving stones are used to form surfaces such as garden or landscape steps, walkways, stairways and patios. Flagstone and cobblestone are but two popular paving stones.
Choosing a Decorative Stone
When deciding which decorative stone to use, you’ll consider factors such as the following.
Style. All decorative stones offer their own appeal, but if you’re mainly interested in a natural garden accessory, you might focus on beach or river pebbles around plants. For landscape or garden focal points – including walls and pond walls – boulders and other large rocks are a good choice.
Drainage. Decorative stone is superb for draining water. This becomes a great asset by reducing the risk of damage to your landscaping and foundations that excess water can bring. Some good selections of decorative stone for drainage include pea gravel, beach or river pebbles, and crushed gravel.
pH. This factor can sometimes slip beneath the radar. Different decorative stones can have different effects on the soil’s pH level, which measures how alkaline or acidic it is. Limestone, for example, will raise the soil’s alkalinity and make it less favorable for plants that prefer acidic conditions.
Covering application. When you are laying a surface such as for a driveway or a path, crushed gravel can be a good choice. Its rough texture and irregular pieces tend to fit together well for a covering that won’t shift under foot. Similar to crushed gravel but finer and more stable, decomposed granite is another option that also can give your surface a rustic, natural look.
For decorative stone installation, the right amount of coverage is important. Coverage is determined in tons, usually for a 2″ depth. Start by measuring each area to be covered as length x width in feet = square feet. Then add the amounts for the total square feet to be covered. Take the total square feet to be covered and divide by the coverage of your chosen stone for the total tons needed.
Note also that because decorative stone is a natural product, it may have slight variances. The names of decorative stones may vary from yard to yard as well. For example, Tabitha Pink at one supplier might be Precious Pink at another.
A Full Selection for the Uses You Need
Tim Wallace Landscape Supply offers homeowners in Joliet, Shorewood, Plainfield and Lemont 60 different decorative stones for gardens and landscapes. Stop by our Bolingbrook facility to see each decorative stone up close at our indoor display.
Request samples at our main counter and we’ll give you baggies for collecting them from our outside bins. That way, you can take them home and compare them with your brick or siding. We stock professional-quality landscape fabric and poly lawn edging as well.
Your Local Decorative Stone Supplier: Contact Us Today
Tim Wallace Landscape Supply is your center for everything garden and landscape in Joliet, Shorewood, Plainfield and Lemont (IL). We’re always interested in learning about your project and answering any questions you might have. To further discuss decorative stone ideas and choices, just give us a call at (630) 759-5552!