USING ROCKS IN YOUR LANDSCAPE

Written by Kim Smerek

Rocks provide a natural, durable landscape accent or ground cover, requiring little or no maintenance. Not only do they add structure and interest, they can also be used to hide or disguise problem areas, stand in for mulch in some garden beds, or take on a creative life of their own!  

Let's take a look at some of the uses for the rocks and aggregates that Harper's carry in our Stone Yard.  
  

Flagstone is the very flat, pancake rock, that we are most familiar seeing used for walkways and patios. Our Flagstone comes from the Wiarton area, and we carry various thicknesses and sheet sizes that allow for a multitude of applications. There is no end to what you can do with Flagstone:

• patios and walkways

• stepping stones in gardens

• pond edging

• waterfalls/ escalades

• facing for outdoor kitchens or barbeques

• as an attractive pedestal for a planter  

Wall Stone
Our Wall Stone is a light coloured limestone from the Bruce Peninsula. As its name implies, it is often used for retaining walls as its shape allows for easy stacking. Some other applications include:

• use as garden edging

• steps for inclines

• driveway edging  

Armour Stone  
Also from the Bruce Peninsula, Armour Stone is primarily used for edging or retaining walls. Additionally, it makes an interesting landscape stone within a garden bed, or as a decorative accent piece. It comes in various colourations.  

Maynooth Granite
Maynooth Granite is so named because it comes from Maynooth, Ontario, north of Bancroft. It comes in sizes from 3”- 5” in bags, to large, single pieces, landscape boulder size, in colours from white to pink to grey. The varying sizes mean it can be used for many purposes including as a surround for trees, or as a fire pit surround.  

Mica Quartz  
Mica Quartz is the pretty, glittery stone you see sparkling in the sunlight. It comes from the North Bay area and comes in shades of pink, green and grey. It might be a little more expensive than some of the other rocks, but it does glitter like diamonds! and adds that extra element of reflected light into your landscape.  

Ironstone
Its high iron content gives Ironstone its rusty appearance. Coming from the Timmins area, Ironstone is often used as a decorative landscape piece because of its odd shapes and unique personality.  

Rockery (or Moss Rock)  
Moss Rock (as it's often referred to because of the moss that grows on it) has so much gnarly personality it is interesting enough as a stand-alone landscape piece. It's often used to enhance rock gardens, and has cavities in which to plant hens and chicks or other rock garden favourites. It is also used as edging around trees.  

Marble  
Our marble comes in beautiful shades of pink, green and caramel and is not a rock you want to hide away in a back corner of your landscape! Its pastel colours are soft and pretty and add light to your landscape.  

Zebra Rock  
Zebra Rock is, of course, a black and white rock from the marble family. Mostly black with striking white veins, it makes a beautiful accent rock.    

Sunset Light (Timberlite)
This is a light, man-made rock, made from the by products of mining. Timberlite is similar to lava rock in that it's porous and takes easily to drilling, making it a perfect choice for bubblers and water features. It also comes in granular form so that it can be used as an accent around larger rocks.  
  

Along with the larger rocks we carry in the Stone Yard, we also carry a wide selection of decorative  aggregates and pavers. Here are some of them and their uses:  

River Rock and Pea Gravel: These are nicely rounded stones with no sharp edges. The larger River Rock  comes in two sizes: 1/2”-1” and 1”-3 and is often used as a dry river-bed feature. Then there is pea gravel which is appropriate for just about any landscape use. They form great bases for pathways, driveways, patios and they are a terrific alternative to mulch. It keeps weeds out and moisture in whether you use it in planters, containers or around shrubs and small trees.   

HPB Gravel: High performance bedding gravel makes a perfect leveller for patio stones.

Screening: is a rough crushed gravel, a little finer than HPB and is used for the same purpose. 

Brick Sand: can be used for children's sandboxes, as a mix for mortar, or as a base for a driveway or walkway. 

Crush & Run: is used as a base for driveways or walkways. 

Topsoil: is used as a base for landscaping or before laying sod. Does not contain enough nutrients to be used as a garden soil.

Triple Mix: is a multi-use garden soil composed of garden soil, compost and manure.

Mulches: retain moisture in the soil, suppress weeds, keep the soil cool, prevent frost heaving in winter, and make the garden bed look more attractive. Organic mulches also help improve the soil's structure, drainage, and nutrient-holding capacity as they decompose. Harper's carries mulch in three colours: Natural cedar, natural pine and dyed black. 

All of our aggregates can be purchased in 50 lb bags or in bulk quantities. We also offer SuperSacs containing 1 cubic yard and starting at $129 with free shipping.