Creating a Curved Flagstone Walkway

Flagstone is a stunning natural paving option for walkways. You can create paths that curve around your garden on your own if you know the tricks. A curved flagstone walkway is a great DIY project that can save you hundreds of dollars over hiring a professional. Here are some tips and tricks to help you get started on building a gorgeous flagstone walkway with curves.

Outline Your Path

You can use a garden hose to create the outline of your curved walkway. This gives you a chance to try different options to find the look you desire. Make sure it is wide enough to walk on comfortably and avoid going over tree roots – these can cause problems down the road if they reach the surface. Once you choose a design, use spray paint to mark the outline of the walkway and calculate the square footage you will be covering.

Choose Your Flagstone

Flagstone comes in a variety of colors, shapes and thickness. Choose flagstone that is about 3” thick for walkways, reducing the chance it will crack, but thin enough to cut if needed. You will want natural shapes and various sizes to help you build your walkway and enough to fill the square footage needed. Your landscape supplier can help you choose the right stones for your project.

Build Your Walkway

You will need to dig about five inches down to build your walkway, then cover it with landscape fabric. Layer two inches of sand and tamper it down. Start in the middle of the path, putting pieces of flagstone in place like a puzzle. On the edges, trace the line where the stone overlaps the outline to make cuts in the stone to fit inside your pathway outline. Add small pieces between bigger stones to reduce gaps. Sweep fine sand over your flagstone to fill in between the stones.

It does take patience and hard work, but you can build a curved flagstone walkway that will be beautiful and functional. Carefully plan your project and take your time to ensure it turns out like you envision.

Posted on behalf of:
Culbreth Stone
1968 US-41
Pelham, TN 37366
(423) 930-8249

5 Steps to Planning Your Natural Stone Project

Whether you are building a stone patio, walkway or retaining wall, there is planning involved to ensure your project goes smoothly. Taking the time to prepare can save trips to the landscape supply store and help you make sure you complete your project correctly the first time. Here are five steps to plan your natural stone project to save time and money.

Choose the Type of Stone

There are many options in natural stone. Flagstone, fieldstone, ashlar and travertine are some of the options available. Plus, each type can come in a variety of colors. Flagstone and travertine are popular for patios and walkways; fieldstone and river rock are great for natural retaining walls or fire pits. Know what you want to use before you head to the supply store.

Choose the Cut

There are many different types of cuts of stone. You can choose cobblestones or rubble cuts for building pits or walls, or thin, flat cuts for paved surfaces. Research what will work best for your project.

Will You Need Mortar or Sand?

Most stone projects will require mortar or sand to fill between the stone slabs. Add this to your shopping list and determine how much you will need for your project.

Do You Need Any Tools?

There are not many tools needed for most stone projects, but you may need a shovel to dig out your surface area or a trowel for applying mortar.

Will You Need Framing Materials?

Some patios, pits or walkways may need wood framing boards that are pressure treated to create the borders. You will need to cut these to size.

The old adage, “measure twice, cut once” also applies to stone projects. Take the time to plan your project to limit trips back and forth to the supply store, getting all the items you will need at one time. This will save you time and minimize the cost for an efficient DIY project.

Posted on behalf of:
Alliance Stone
5420 Campground Rd
Cumming, GA 30040
(404) 759-0617

7 Uses for Landscape Timbers

While natural stone has become the go-to landscape material for many projects, landscape timbers can be a great alternative. They are light, inexpensive and are versatile, making them an outdoor building material that most DIY landscapers can use easily for backyard projects. Here are seven ideas on how to use landscape timbers in your landscaping in the upcoming season.

  1. Flower bed. Landscape timbers can quickly create a raised flower bed anywhere in your yard. Three or four stacked make a shallow flower bed that can be installed in just a few hours.
  2. Edging. Want to create an edge or border for your yard or garden? Use landscape timbers to create a wood border for a clean appearance.
  3. Retaining wall. Need to stabilize a slope or want to create a tiered planting area on a hill? Landscape timbers can be used to build small retaining walls around your property.
  4. Hillside steps. Carve steps into your hillside and frame them with landscape timbers. Fill the interior with gravel for natural steps up your slope.
  5. Fencing. Timbers can make a simple wood fence for around your garden or as a border to your lawn or driveway.
  6. Planters. You can build smaller planters or raised planters for starting your garden with some spare timbers.
  7. Build a pergola. If you are handy with a hammer, landscape timbers can be used to build a beautiful pergola for your patio area.

There are so many ways to use landscape timbers in your landscaping. Visit your local landscape supplier to check out the different options in timbers available and bring a load home for your next landscape project.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Brothers Earth Works
680 Franklin Rd, SE
Marietta, GA 30067
(770) 590-8220

Fertilizer Basics for Your New Sod

Are you considering adding new sod to create a lush lawn? Picking the right sod is crucial, but you need to know how to ensure that your sod takes hold. Not only is it important to prepare for your new sod, you must care for it once it is installed. Maintenance for your new sod will be important to whether it thrives or even survives. Part of that maintenance is feeding the grass the nutrients it needs. Here is what you need to know about fertilizer for your grass.

Know Your Numbers

Fertilizer has ratios of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K) listed. For greener grass, you want a higher nitrogen content. Fertilizer for grass should have a much higher percentage of nitrogen than the other components. You may see combinations with little or no phosphorus. You want the best NPK ratios for your grass type.

Frequency of Fertilizing

For new sod, you will want to fertilize the first time about six weeks after installation. After that, you should plan on fertilizing every two to three months, depending on your grass types. For example, fescue grass normally only needs fertilizer every three months, starting in March and ending in December in warmer regions. Varieties like Bermuda and zoysia may need more frequent fertilizing, about every two months starting in March, but not after September due to dormancy.

Talk to your local landscape supplier about the right type of sod for your needs and the best fertilizer to keep it healthy. Feeding your new sod the right nutrients can help your grass grow greener and fuller, creating the beautiful lawn that you desire.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Brothers Earth Works
680 Franklin Rd, SE
Marietta, GA 30067
(770) 590-8220

Boulder Fire Pits for a Unique Style

A fire pit can add light and heat to your outdoor living space. Imagine late nights conversing around a fire, right in your backyard. Make s’mores, stay warm and light up the night with a fire pit that also matches your style. If you love a natural look, a boulder fire pit may be the perfect style for your patio.

You will see many different types of fire pits if you spend some time on Pinterest. Brick, concrete, pavers and natural stone are common materials to create a fire pit for your patio. However, boulder fire pits are less common, yet can be a unique option for those who want a natural-style fire feature. Large boulders can last for decades, making a perfect enclosure for your fire.

Types of Boulder Fire Pits

While you can use boulders that are free-standing to make a fire pit, for a cleaner, professional design, mortar is necessary. Boulders can be used to create the main border, with mortar in between to create even and solid walls. Another option is going big – a boulder large enough to encompass the fire on its own. Creating a dip on the top of a giant boulder is the ultimate in natural stone fire pits, a beautiful focal point for your patio.

If you want to build a unique boulder fire pit, it all starts with finding the right boulders. Visit your local quarry that has boulders for sale to find the right sizes and shapes for your new fire pit. You can create a fire pit that will last for many years, adding beauty, warmth and light to your outdoor space.

Posted on behalf of:
Alliance Stone
5420 Campground Rd
Cumming, GA 30040
(404) 759-0617

Natural Stone Options for Your Slopes

Do you have a slope in your yard that is hard to plant or adorn with landscaping features? Slopes can be challenging when it comes to landscape design, but there are some creative natural stone features that can add an interesting flair to your yard. Here are some ways to incorporate slopes into your landscape design with natural stone.

Tiered Waterfalls

Slopes are the perfect formation for creating a waterfall in your yard. The natural slope gives you the gravity you need to build a flowing waterfall. A waterfall can begin anywhere on your slope with tiers of natural stone as it cascades down to your yard. This creates a natural look, adding the relaxing sound and glittering effects of moving water with the backdrop of beautiful stone.

Slope Staircase

Natural stone is excellent for building an in-ground staircase on your slope. Slabs of flagstone can be used to make treads that are staggered up your slope. Not only does a natural stone staircase make your slope easier to climb, it is a stunning feature to add to your landscape design.

Tiered Gardens

Another option for your slope is creating tiered gardens for planting flowers and vegetables. Small natural stone retaining walls allow you to make flat tiers for planting. Use two or three retaining walls to build tiers that allow you to finally utilize your slope for planting without worrying about erosion. You can also build a natural stone staircase to make it simple to access your tiered gardens.

Natural stone can help you make the most of your sloped areas. Visit a local quarry to explore the different stone options for building interesting features on your slopes.

Posted on behalf of:
Culbreth Stone
1968 US-41
Pelham, TN 37366
(423) 930-8249

Why to Choose Natural Stone Veneer Over Faux Stone Siding

Natural stone for siding, fireplaces, outdoor kitchens and many other applications is popular, but real stonework can be expensive. An alternative is using stone veneer, a thin covering that creates the appearance of a stone structure. There are many options and styles of stone veneers to create almost any look, both with natural stone and faux stone siding. While faux or manufactured stone veneer is less expensive, it is worth the investment to choose natural stone product when using veneer.

Advantages of Natural Stone Veneer Vs. Faux

Both natural and manufactured stone veneer can be beautiful and have the appearance of masonry or stone surfaces. However, the differences are similar to why natural stone is preferred to concrete or manufactured pavers. While faux stone siding may look similar, it does not have the attributes that is loved about natural stone. Some of the advantages of natural stone veneer include:

  • Unique stones and patterns
  • Durability of real stone – some faux products are prone to disintegration
  • The look can closer match other natural stone features
  • More options and styles available

Real stone veneer was not available decades ago – it is only with advanced cutting tools that creating thin natural stone veneer is possible. Most people cannot tell the difference between natural stone veneer and real stone structures, creating a valuable look that will last.

If you are considering stone veneer for your home, talk to a quarry that carries natural stone veneer. Often the prices are comparable to higher-end manufactured stone veneer, yet the product has higher value and durability, making it a better choice for many home improvement projects.

Posted on behalf of:
Culbreth Stone
1968 US-41
Pelham, TN 37366
(423) 930-8249

Add a Stone Focal Feature to Your Landscape Design

Every landscape design should have a focal feature that draws the eye – it can be something fully functional or just for aesthetics, but it should draw attention. Stone is a perfect material for building a stunning focal feature that will blend with the natural atmosphere and last for many years. Here are some ideas for stone features that can become the focal point of your landscape design.

Stone Waterfall or Water Wall

Flowing water over natural stone is a gorgeous addition to any yard, providing beauty and relaxing sound as a focal feature. A tumbling waterfall over rocks or a solid stone water wall can enhance your landscape design and add an elegant touch.

Outdoor Fireplace or Fire Pit

A flagstone or fieldstone fireplace or fire pit are a wonderful way to warm and light up cool nights, but also can be the centerpiece of your outdoor space.

Retaining or Sitting Walls

Stone is perfect for creating retaining walls to secure slopes or shape your yard, both functional and a wonderful focal feature. Sitting walls made from natural stone are also functional and add a lovely look to any outdoor living area.

Dry Creek Beds

Drainage for your yard can also be a focal feature. Dry creek beds made with varying sizes of stones can provide adequate drainage for your property and create an interesting style for your yard.

Find ways to improve the beauty of your yard and landscape design with a natural stone focal feature. Visit a local quarry to view varieties of natural stone to give you ideas for your next project to enhance your property with style and function.

Posted on behalf of:
Alliance Stone
5420 Campground Rd
Cumming, GA 30040
(404) 759-0617

Are You Using Local Soil for Your Landscaping and Garden?

Do you know where the soil you buy for your landscaping and gardening projects is from? You may wonder if it matters. While top soil for paving projects may not make a difference, when it comes to planting in your backyard, the soil you buy can impact the health of your plants. Here are a few reasons that buying local top soil can make a difference in your landscaping.

Native Plants Thrive in Native Soil

The soil from the Midwest is different than the soil in the Southeast or on the West Coast. It is not just the climate that is different in these regions; the soils are different as well. Some plants prefer sandy soil, while others do better in denser soils that retain moisture. When you buy bagged soil or top soil from a landscape supplier, it is important to know where that soil is from if you will be using it for planting.

Local soil may be best for native plants, having the right density and pH balance. For planting, look for landscape supplier that offers local top soil that is mixed with composted top soil to add the organic materials needed for healthy plant growth. Local top soil is also perfect for creating the soil layer for sod planting and other leveling projects.

Not all top soil is the same and not all plants need the same type of soil. When planning your garden and landscaping projects, start with the right top soil from a quality landscape supplier. Talk to the experts on whether local soil will be better for your planting needs and what types of soils they offer to give you the best results in your yard.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Brothers Earth Works
680 Franklin Rd, SE
Marietta, GA 30067
(770) 590-8220

Add Timeless Beauty to Your Yard with Natural Stone

Natural stone features for outdoor spaces is not a passing phase. Compared to concrete or other man-made surfaces, natural stone offers a timeless beauty and value that cannot be matched. Whether you prefer the stunning look of flagstone or want the rugged, country style of fieldstone, natural stone can transform your yard and improve the overall design with elements that will last.

Perfect Patios

When you use natural stone for paving your patio, you do not need to worry about cracking cement or drainage issues. Natural stone of all types is more durable and can shift with the soil, offering a long-lasting patio surface that is simple to maintain. A quick sweep or rinsing is all that is needed to keep it looking beautiful and your patio will be unique as the stone that creates it.

Walkways

Welcome guests to your front door or to walk through your gardens with stunning natural stone pathways. Flagstone or natural pavers are ornamental and functional for walkways, while offering the durability and easy maintenance of stone.

Retaining Wall, Fire Pits and Water Features

Natural stone can help enhance almost any feature in your landscaping. From preventing erosion with a natural stone retaining wall to adding pizazz to your landscaping with a fire pit or waterfall, natural stone can help you create a variety of interesting and useful features in your yard.

Natural stone comes in many varieties for creating gorgeous paved spaces and other features in your outdoor living areas and yard. Visit your local quarry to investigate the many different styles, types, colors and shapes of natural stone for your next outdoor project.

Posted on behalf of:
Culbreth Stone
1968 US-41
Pelham, TN 37366
(423) 930-8249