Whether it forms a poolside patio, rugged retaining wall, meandering path or outdoor sculpture, stone creates a foundation for many of Utah’s most spectacular landscapes.
1. Over-the-Top Wall (Feature Image)
“A wall’s height dictates the sizes of the stones we use to build it,” says Cory Chapman, owner of Rockscapes. He staggered tightly fit stones—ranging from very large at the base to smaller at the top—to create this towering retaining wall in North Salt Lake. Water cascades over the edge of a massive stone into a pool below. Chapman sourced the perfect stone to throw the water from the ledge, out and over the stairs and into the pool. Feature image by Scot Zimmerman
2. Modern Moment
In Park City, a small backyard gets a big-style overhaul. “Everybody wants to do mountain contemporary in Old Town, but they are limited by what they can do from the streetscape,” says landscape architect Seth Bockholt, principal of Bockholt Landscape Architecture. “But in the backyard, it’s no holds barred.” He and his team creatively integrated four contrasting stone elements. A colorful, vertically staged marble slab towers over the patio of honed, non-slip basalt pavers bordered in Mexican Beach cobbles. Nearby, a salt-and-pepper granite fire feature grounds the space. The dark stones absorb the sunlight to help warm the mountain patio, and the mixed materials add interest and space-expanding dimension. “A single stone would make it feel too stark and small,” Bockholt says.
3. Hobbit House
Landscape designer Dean Anesi, principal of Urban Garden Company, created a large berm to hide a bike path and garage, as well as to give height to a water feature on its backside. A “hobbit house,” made of local river stone from the home’s Big Cottonwood Creek area, tucks into the berm and features a red brick ceiling and handcrafted door and window. Plants play a part, too. “Whimsical plantings accentuate the storybook look of the playhouse,” Anesi says.
4. Curve Appeal
To shape the terraces of a Park City property, landscape architect Seth Bockholt designed elegant curved walls to create a contrast between the site’s organic forms and the house’s hard edges. Using no footings, he designed the flexible, dry-stacked stone walls to move with the ground as it naturally shifts. Bockholt chose stone from the site and nearby Browns Stone quarries to form the walls, patio floor and raised fire pit, fostering a natural look and feel for the design.
5. Slowly Paced Path
In Salt Lake City, landscape designer Willie Eschenfelder bordered a tranquil stream with rocks and select plantings to make the water feature look freeform and natural. Informal paths of crushed limestone—softened by ground cover along their edges—slow the pace as they meander through lush gardens and connect to stone steps that traverse the water.
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