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