Category Archives: Stone

Contemporary Tiles and the Middle Ages

Sometimes my mind connects the dots in unexpected ways.  I visited ICFF (International Contemporary Furniture Fair) in New York over the weekend.  You would think I’d be all mid-mod and forward thinking. But no. I fell for these concrete tiles … Read more

LABELS: France, Gardens, Landscape Design, paving pattern 2 Comments

Garden Design Details: Stone at Skylands

I hadn’t visited Skylands for about ten years, and never in the fall.  I went hoping to see the last of the fall foliage and instead found stonework that was interesting in its scope and full of ideas. Formerly an … Read more

LABELS: dry stone walling, fall, Gardens, granite, New Jersey, patio stone, paving pattern, rock work, Stone, stone work 2 Comments

Garden Inspiration: Tile Medalions

After a trip, sometimes I don’t see nuggets of ideas until I look at my images.  I chose the shots after all, so there is some vague through line.  So here goes. When I was in Chicago two weeks ago … Read more

LABELS: Antiques, Gardens, inspiration, paths, paving pattern, project 2 Comments

Carved in Stone

There’s a current and rather annoying trend to share words of wisdom in graphic form on Pinterest and Facebook.  I’ve been known to share said same on the former as the link proves. These are careless, superficial toss-offs pearls of wisdom … Read more

LABELS: Gardens, inspiration, Stone Leave a comment

Beehive Structures

Wayward paths are a curious thing.  My post last week about dovecotes and a quick look at some things I had pinned led me down this particular road.  I’ve become totally intrigued with beehive shaped structures and thinking about how to … Read more

LABELS: Gardens, inspiration, Sheds and Outbuildings, Stone Leave a comment

Monochrome Inspiration

I’m inspired by monochrome gardens? Yes, I am.  These gardens with their washed out almost colorless spaces are really appealing to me.  Maybe it’s my current mood, or the abundance of summer color outside, or a knee jerk reaction to … Read more

LABELS: color, Gardens, patios, stone work 2 Comments

Garden Design Details: Cleveland Underfoot

I was visiting gardens in the greater Cleveland area last week and what struck me most was the details.  There were wonderful, thoughtful ideas in almost every garden of the more than 30 we visited. Here are some of the … Read more

LABELS: American Architecture, APLD, Gardens, patio stone, paving pattern, Stone 1 Comment

Garden Designers Roundtable: Rock Stars

Last week I was at an event where more than 100 designers went mad for their industry’s stars.  I mean paparazzi mad.  Photo ops, flashes everywhere, one on one moments and book signings for all who wanted.  I lamented that … Read more

LABELS: dry stone walling, Gardens, Landscape Design, rock work, Stone, stone patterns, stone work 18 Comments

Stoned…as in patios and walls

As a designer, I need to know a vast number of resources to enable me to solve a any number of  design problems, so last Saturday I spent the morning in the company of other  landscape and garden designers at … Read more

LABELS: dry stone walling, patio stone, Stone 2 Comments

Garden Designers Roundtable | Follies

I have a taste for the absurd, the wildly impractical and the creative.  Add to that real or imagined historical context and VOILA! you have my favorite type of garden folly.  It’s really too bad that there’s little interest–both economically … Read more

LABELS: garden visits, inspiration, Stone 14 Comments

Bardessono’s Compelling Courtyards

In the pouring rain, two garden design and writing friends and I made Bardessono our final stop on a whirlwind tour of Napa and Sonoma. I first wrote about this LEED Platinum certified resort/spa earlier this year in a post … Read more

LABELS: Garden Styles, green, Landscape Design, rock work, stone work 4 Comments

In Praise of Craftsmanship

As a landscape designer who runs a design only practice, I am dependent on those who build my work to realize my vision.  I have, over many years, through trial and error, found several contractors and artisans who embrace excellent … Read more

LABELS: craftsmanship, dry stone walling, Garden Design, Landscape Design, landscape designer, stone work 6 Comments

Showhouse Season V, Issue 6, In Real Life

Yesterday morning was dedicated to show house business. Frank Scheppe, my contractor extraordinaire, and I were at a local wholesale nursery soon after it opened to choose two Styrax japonica for the garden. After they were loaded we delivered them … Read more

LABELS: Garden Design, patios, paving pattern, Planting Design, Rumson NJ, Sheep's Run, VNA of Central NJ 1 Comment


Several years ago on a garden tour, I found myself looking at what was on the ground plane rather than what was in the gardens. I started shooting photos of paths and patterns of what I saw for future reference … Read more

LABELS: Creative Process, paths, paving pattern, stone patterns Leave a comment

Under foot. A stone carpet.

A grey project for a grey day. This is part of the project I’ve been updating here, it started with design work last spring and is now the last build of the season. The photo below shows a partially completed … Read more

LABELS: granite, patio stone, patios, stone work 4 Comments

Current Project Update

Another work in progress—probably the final one until the thaw. The plan, originally included in my 8/27 post, is below and is largely unchanged from the presentation drawing you see below. I used Dynascape color for a down and dirty … Read more

LABELS: cad, Creative Process, patio stone, rock work, stone work Leave a comment

#-21–12 days and counting

With less than two weeks to go, the major boulder work is complete and many of the plants have been purchased and placed. It is becoming a marathon of fits and starts due to the weather and trying to coordinate … Read more

LABELS: Designer Showhouses, earthworks, Planting Design, plants, rock work Leave a comment

#19–Muck and Mire

We went back to work today for a bit. It was a muddy mess. I had to give Harry the dirty dog a bath immediately upon return home. There’s three weeks to go and actually we need to be done … Read more

LABELS: Designer Showhouses, earthworks, Landscape Design, Planting Design, plants, stone work Leave a comment

#18–Stoned Again

A trip to Wicki Stone in Great Meadows today yielded the tumbled flat bluestone for the dry garden as well as stone for another project we’re working on. That way we were mixing business with pleasure… Frank (shown for scale) … Read more

LABELS: Designer Showhouses, patio stone, stone work Leave a comment

#14–Rock Star

The arch was finished today in anticipation of the ‘in progress’ press junket at the show house tomorrow. Many people were working today trying to get something done for the press to cover. We’ve been kind of on our own … Read more

LABELS: dry stone walling, earthworks, Landscape Design, Mansion in May, rock work 2 Comments

#13– Rock On

Dan Lupino started building the boulder arch today with Frank Scheppe’s crew. It’s a big statement and we wanted it done before the first press junket on Friday. Here’s some photos…more as things progress. Dan setting the first support stone–this … Read more

LABELS: Landscape Design, Mansion in May, rock work Leave a comment

#11 Sites & soil

This morning, on another project, they started digging for a pool. Before development 30-40 years ago the area was a known for its rose growing industry so when the excavator dug his first hole we found a layer of ash … Read more

LABELS: Landscape Design, recycling, rock work, sustainable landscapes Leave a comment


The day started out grey and by mid morning became one of the worst rainstorms I’ve seen in a while. Pouring, pouring, pouring. Dan Lupino and I had an appointment to tag stone for the arch and figure out just … Read more

LABELS: dry stone walling, Landscape Design, stone work Leave a comment

#8–Start Up

The weather has been iffy so hopefully, if all goes according to plan, I’ll meet the crew and the excavator at the mansion today. The main goals will be to tag boulders for specific use, identify inhabited burrows and move … Read more

LABELS: earthworks, Landscape Design, rock work, stone work Leave a comment

#4–Plants and Problems

I’ve done a quick CAD color rendering to try and approximate the quantities of plants that I will need to order in the next few weeks. It’s difficult since I really have no idea what lies beneath the surface stones, … Read more

LABELS: cad, Landscape Design, Planting Design, rock work, sustainable landscapes 2 Comments

#2–Conceptual Plan

I’ve shown a conceptual plan of the Rockery below. It doesn’t show all of the detail since many of the decisions have to be made on site. Basically, the 60 x 30 pile will be bisected with boulders removed from … Read more

LABELS: Designer Showhouses, Landscape Design, stone work Leave a comment