Stones and Bones

You often hear people mention the phrase the "bones of the garden." It's basically used to refer to the garden elements that provide some sort of structure. Many people refer to evergreen plantings as the bones since they add structure and don't lose their leaves when the weather changes. Structures like arbors and garden shed could also be bones of the garden since they are more permanent fixtures that you can build the garden around. One other element that I like to think of as part of the bones of the garden is stone. Stone can do all kinds of things from building walls to creating patios or simply outline a garden border as in the picture below.

My stone border in the sideyard does two things:
  1. It defines the garden space between my yard and my neighbor's yard (the border).
  2. It separates the grass pathway from the garden.

The stone is an element that is always there, doesn't change, and won't float away in any May floods!

Stone is often used for surfaces to walk on like in these stepping stones.  They aren't set into the ground yet but will be soon once the weather warms up a tad! I like to add stepping stones into the grassy areas to allow people to walk through the yard without getting their feet wet in the morning dew (that's usually just me though!) It also helps to formalize the pathways.

Stone bones can also be used as decorative elements in statues, water features, or in a plain ole rock stuck in a garden bed! What bones are in your garden?

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