Does the word garden bring to your mind images of lush green lawns, pretty flower beds, old fruit trees, shrubs and bushes? Today, we want to show you another type of garden, which stands out from your idea of a classic garden but has still been around for centuries. It is the stone garden – a charming and easy-to-care alternative to a classic garden. They have been in existence in many countries around the world, from England to Japan, and from France to Mexico. Browse through these 10 great stone garden ideas. They are all different, but nevertheless, each one has a special charm. You can decide whether you want lush greenery or cool cacti. Enjoy this stone garden picture gallery, which features the projects of some homify experts.
If you like modern minimalism and sleek design, a stone garden like the one in this image will be perfect for you. How about creating a stylish courtyard without a lawn that still makes a lasting impression? Fine gravel, clear lines, corners, edges and square shapes are the focus in this style. For fresh green accents bushes and shrubs can be used, besides raised beds and planters.
Just as in the Mediterranean region, green meadows and lush gardens are rare in most parts of Mexico. A stone garden is the perfect choice for those who want to decorate their outdoor area with regional plants that withstand the summer heat without getting completely ruined. Stone gardens are great for warm-weather plants and present the best growth conditions as weeds don’t come up easily on stone. Additionally, you won’t have to tend to the plants too much as they adapt perfectly to the heat, especially cacti and succulents, which store water and have no problem surviving through long dry spells.
In Japanese stone gardens, design is the principal element. Plants tend to play a subordinate role, while gravel, sand and rocks take the lead role. They are not only beautifully arranged to radiate a soothing, meditative effect, but also have symbolic meaning. They stand for the cycle of life – gods, mountains, water and animals – to create energy and harmony. To emphasize their importance and to provide serenity and relaxation in the garden, special wavy lines are made in the gravel and sand. It is crucial that the beginning and end of the lines are not visible. A gentle transition is desirable towards the larger stones and rocks in the garden. Isn’t this a harmonious stone garden?
With a Mediterranean style stone garden, you get the feeling of being on vacation in an exotic locale, besides getting to enjoy the outdoors in a lovely setting. A Mediterranean stone garden does well in cooler places and is best for a garden facing the south to optimise plant growth. What can you grow in a Mediterranean garden? Dwarf pines, lavender, sage, purple flowering thyme and thistles are some of the options that contrast beautifully with bright stones. Mediterranean themed accessories such as wrought-iron garden furniture, lanterns, columns and terracotta pots and jugs, enhance the look of this style of stone garden.
Do you want a stark look devoid of greenery and colourful flowers? Then the English interpretation of the stone garden is exactly the style for you – if you have seen idyllic pictures of greenery on isolated British islands. The advantage of trying to lay out a stone garden with wild-romantic planting in beds is that it creates a lovely natural oasis for relaxation under the open sky. By the way, in England, more precisely at the Chelsea Physic Garden in London, you’ll find one of the oldest, existing stone gardens in Europe. Created in 1773, it is now a protected monument. For its construction, stones from the demolition of the Tower of London were used.
The combination of stone and water has always been particularly popular in garden design. Whether one leaves both the elements in their natural form, or introduces them in a straightforward and modern manner, is left to the personal taste. The result is unique and interesting. In this picture, you see the pond with a stone wall, waterfall and a path over the water surface, all designed with geometrical shapes and clarity to create a stunning effect.
Wood is another popular material used in stone gardens. In this one, gravel and stone beds were laid on both sides of a wooden path, and planted with shrubs. The whole area is surrounded by a wooden fence and includes partitions with wood and coloured Plexiglas. After sundown, sophisticated lighting creates a charming atmosphere. It’s a great idea for those who like their stone garden modern.
Opting for a stone garden does not necessarily mean you can’t have lawns. On the contrary, rocky grey and lush green harmonize well to form an appealing contrast. Here, massive granite blocks were stacked horizontally to provide seating in the garden. The addition of a herb bed between the blocks completes the picture, which is simultaneously modern and rustic, as well as functional and natural.
Planting and cultivating a garden on a slope is often a great challenge. We recommend setting it using stone. For hillside houses, stone gardens are quite wonderful, especially on dry, permeable soil and in a sunny location. The drainage works best on the slope. For the greenery, slope grasses are the ideal choice as they highlight the light edges of the stones. Important tip: The plants should have as large and strong a root system as possible, so that they can hold firmly on to the rocky slope.
Finally, in our stone garden picture gallery, we show you a very special project, which shows that animals too can feel good in the rocky garden. This is a turtle garden planned and created for a family and their beloved reptiles to enjoy. In this charming enclosure, besides stone, other natural materials are present in a design that specifically considers the needs of the animals. It is lovingly and carefully finished to provide a cosy space.
So, which of these gardens caught your eye? You can get the help of homify experts to design your stone garden. For ideas on fountains and water features, see this ideabook.