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Used correctly, stones can act as both focal point and backbone of any landscape. They appear more natural when they seem to emerge from deep within the ground and are set into odd pairings or sets of threes, fives, and sevens. While stones set vertically more easily grab our attention, those that are set parallel to the ground feel restful, as though they’ve always been there.

Before you try to set stones in a landscape, seek out natural ponds and streams to learn what nature does. Boulders should feel as though they are emerging from the earth and should be set so you can’t see under them.


From New Landscaping Ideas That Work by Julie Moir Messervy (The Taunton Press, 2018), pages 192-193. Design by JMMDS. Photo by Bill Sumner.