Whatever your views on conservation, when it comes to money, we are all pretty much in favor of it. A landscape design created by using landscaping stone and ornamental grasses conserves water and money. Landscaping materials, such as flagstone and landscape rock, expand your living space in a way that is both practical and easy on the eye. In combination with various grasses, you can design a landscape that is expansive and inviting landscaping ideas
More and more landscaping stone are utilizing materials such as river rock, pea gravel, boulders and drought resistant plants and grasses. The reasons for this vary from conserving water to less time and expense to maintain.
I have had two experiences in the past three months that have shown me the benefits of using “water friendly” materials.
My wife and I own property in the Columbia Gorge area in the state of Washington. The property has some pretty steeped sloped areas that were dominated by weeds and other wild growth common to the area, none of which is very pleasing to the eye.
Change the Property Section Into One of Two Categories
- Terraced land that provided areas for future family gatherings
- A garden, of sorts, of grasses, wild flowers and herbs
The terracing portion of the project involved hiring a heavy equipment operator to carve the land and bring in the boulders. This was the expensive part of the project. Fortunately for us, we found two brothers known for their work and reasonable rates (side note, I will gladly give their contact info. if you happen to be in the Gorge area). Anyway, once we had the land terraced and boulders placed, we were well on our way.
Clearing of the weeds and other wild growth took some time. Again, with the right landscape crew, we saw the beginning of our thought process coming to light. My wife, with the help of our landscaper, investigated the many, many ornamental grasses available. In all, they planted over 350 one gallon pots.
In the beginning, water was essential to the success of this project. In a matter of weeks, however, we were able to cut back on watering. And now that the grasses have a solid root system, the amount of water will be reduced to a minimum. And yet, when we look out over the property we now have beautiful grasses of varying types where once we had nasty looking weeds. Over time the grasses will continue to grow and expand, their need for water will diminish and for the most part will require no maintenance.
On the terraced area, we were able to build an outdoor kitchen with a fire pit. We have had several family functions in an area, that a short time ago was not usable. Except for the initial cost, we were able to expand our living space without creating a future burden in regard to expense and time.
Briefly, my other experience was in Florida at my sister’s house. This was a do it yourself job that involved pea gravel and flag stone. Other than the initial cost and elbow grease, this was a project that added living space, used no water and required no maintenance.
She had a small area outside her patio. It was the perfect spot for a barbecue, but it was nothing but dirt and sand. She wanted to create something that allowed her to go outside and not track the dirt back into the house. Also, she wanted to look out her window and see something else other than dirt.
With a little bit of planning and discussion, we were able to pick up the materials at a local hardware store. The materials consisted of 40-50 bags of colored pea gravel (much easier on the eye than gray gravel) and 35 or so prefab colored flag stone pavers. Over the course of three days, I was on “vacation” mind you, we laid and tamped down the gravel and set the pavers in the gravel. The end result was an additional 100 sq. feet of usable living space that requires no maintenance or expense.
So when considering your landscaping stone materials or projects, keep in mind conservation, if not water, then money and time. Personally, the less time and money I spend on maintaining my landscape, the more time I can spend enjoying it. The fact that I use less water is a win win for everyone.