Using Stacked Stone Panels for Landscaping
When our Australian founder first created Norstone almost 20 years ago the product was intended to be used primarily as an exterior application to clad planters, garden walls, retaining walls and other landscape based applications. Pretty early on it became clear that the product was equally suite to interior applications but we’ve never lost sight of the landscape market and have seen our product used on some great applications. In this week’s blog we’re going to explore some of the common uses of stacked stone panels for landscaping.
Planter walls are the most common application of stacked stone panels or natural stone veneer for landscaping. Raised planter beds, particularly those in commercial projects, are normally going to be built out of concrete block or poured in place concrete and so the stacked stone panels become an important part of the project to turn those planter bed walls from drab and dreary to something worth looking at. The photo above shows Norstone Lynia Interlocking Tile in the Grey Basalt color used in extensively on planter walls in the common areas of a multi family housing project. We really like the multi level design of these planter walls which keeps the plants at ground level, knee height and waist height. Natural Stone is a great choice for this type of application because its durable and will stand up to the rigors of an exterior environment and since it is a natural product, creates good synergy in the design since the landscape beds are naturally abundant in vegetation.
Fire pits are a common extension of the planter wall concept in that they are designed for outdoor use and are most often going to be found in the hardscape/ landscaping part of the design. One of the interesting things about using a stacked stone panel product like Norstone is that while stacked stone can be installed on radius walls, most fire pits are going to have too severe a radius to install a panel system product on. Square and rectangular fire pits like the one we see here make up for that deficiency and look great particularly with gas burners that are often a long and skinny in shape. Most fire pits will be at knee level and below and should intentionally be spaced at an adequate distance from flammable material like plantings and vegetation. Most gas fire pits will come with some sort of “media” to cover up the burners, ranging from lava rock as seen in the example above to colored glass chips. The traditional look of stacked stone pairs will with the tumbled appearance of the lava rock whereas a more modern glass media will work well with a smooth face natural stone veneer product like Aksent 3D Panels or Planc Large Format Tile Sets.
The king of the hill when it comes to stacked stone landscaping projects are retaining walls. Retaining walls generally are going to separate out two different elevation levels in the landscaping plan and thus form an important visual element of an exterior landscaping project. The retaining wall shown above using our Ochre XLX Series Rock Panels and features an upper yard and garden that gives way below to a hardscaped natural stone patio. While the stacked stone panels are merely a decorative top layer on the actual retaining wall that is doing the heavy work of keeping the upper elevation held back, natural stone is a fantastic application for a retaining wall since it conveys strength and durability – everything you’d want in a retaining wall.
These are just some examples of ways our stacked stone panels and natural stone veneer products can be used in landscaping applications. The great thing about these products is that they really allow you to think outside the box and use them in creative ways, so if you’re working on a landscaping project this Spring and want to learn more about how stacked stone panels might be a great addition to the job contact Norstone to get samples and start designing the landscaping project of your dreams!