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 what is arguably New Jersey’s best stone yard–Wicki Stone.  We gathered as members of APLDNJ to learn about stone–its possible uses beyond this area’s ubiquitous ashlar patterned bluestone patios.

Wicki has a huge selection of newly quarried and recycled local stone.  From the top of the yard’s hill you can get an idea of just how big it is, but the area just below where the big boulders are isn’t in this photo–so it’s even bigger!

A partial view of the main yard

I have a love of stone and use it often.  This project was built with their stone by Dan Lupino  from my design.

Terraced Front Yard
Detail of piers and lamps

I try to think beyond what is usual and have been a Wicki customer for many years since the quality and selection is greater than what anyone else has.  Here’s some stone I really haven’t used before, either because it wasn’t available or because I didn’t think about it as an option.

Cleaned, recycled stone from a demolished church
Hand carved, recycled lintels and pediments

This stone would give an ‘instant’ sense of place to a project.  The local red stone is rarely used anymore, but for several hundred years was the building stone of choice in northern New Jersey because it’s indigenous to the area.  I’d like to use it in a project

Bluestone slab treds w/uncut face

Big chunky pieces of bluestone for garden steps. For some reason, I’ve just never used these.   The blond stone just beyond the group is from an area about 30 miles southeast of the yard–I haven’t used it either since the color and project have to be exactly right for it to work.   There is a huge difference in color between each of the stone varieties local to our area.

Oversized bluestone slabs

The oversized random slabs would take some care to use since breakage in transport could be an issue, and setting them on site requires care.  I want to find a place to use them.   If you look at the Adirondack chairs in the photo you get an idea of their size – some are almost 6′ long.

Moss rock

Lastly, I think this is the most miss used rock in local landscapes–and also one of the most beautiful.  I see it most often as a lone feature in a front yard.  Moss rock belongs in the woodland, as an outcropping with ferns and Aquilegia growing out of its many crevices.  I’ve been known to ask for single pieces to be on their own pallet and have wrapped them in protective covering before they get shipped.  Yes, people think I’m a little nuts sometimes, but who would want to ruin what nature so beautifully provided by manhandling it?

So I walked away with a pebble in my pocket and too many ideas to process easily.  It was a great morning.

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2 thoughts on “Stoned…as in patios and walls

  1. From one rock hound to another, great post.
    Love the Arroyo Craftsman lights on those stone plinths.
    Timeless design.

    Thanks, Michelle. Your comment made me remember this set of rock samples I got as a childhood gift. It had cardboard dividers and minuscule samples of different kinds of stone. Maybe that’s what did it to me…–s

  2. Hey i was interested in geology as a child and I got one of those sets too!
    Loved this post for the practical points and aesthetics which came through.
    Would stone was always used with this sensitivity.
    Best wishes

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