Factors to Keep in Mind while Designing Beautiful Landscape Paving

When it comes to landscape paving, the choice of paving materials available today is overwhelming. Each paving material comes with its own pros and cons and the choice must be made carefully based on the location and usage. While purchasing paving material and designing landscape paving, there are various factors to take into consideration. Understanding and exploring all available options is the only way to make an informed decision based on the setting and budget.

Landscape-Paving

Stone – Stone is the most popularly used paving material for landscaping. Stone is extremely versatile and durable and is available in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes. While purchasing stone for paving, it is important to keep a few aspects in mind.

  • If your area experiences extreme weather conditions or if the area you are paving has to support a lot of foot traffic, it is important to choose stones that are at least two inches thick.
  • For such areas, it is best to avoid flagstones with honed or polished finish and rounded cobblestones as such surfaces can be slippery in wet weather and can be hard on ankles. The best thing to do is to choose stones that offer texture or grip with a natural cleft, flat surface.
  • It is also a good idea checking for color of the stone when wet as some stones may show up bolder patterns when wet while some others could change color when exposed to moisture.

The most popularly used landscape paving stones include sandstone, gravel, slate, granite and limestone.

Sandstone – Sandstone is popularly used for paving as it is easy to work with. Sandstone is also very affordable as compared to other types of stones like granite. This stone is available in plenty and is offered in many different colors and shapes.

GravelThose who are on a stringent budget choose gravel. This material is ideal for informal landscapes and lends an appealing texture. Gravel is easy to install and must be maintained regularly to avoid any weed growth. “1/4 inch minus” gravel offers a firm footing and is easy on the foot. A firm surface without shift, furrow or spill can be achieved by interlocking unsorted, angular, sharp gravel.

Slate – Those who are looking for aesthetic color and texture choose slate or landscape paving. This stone is known for its visual appeal and comes in a riot of pastel color palette such as lavender, muted red and blue grey. If the landscaped area is exposed to thaw/freeze cycles and/or heavy rainfall, it is recommended to avoid using slate as this material can chip or flake under these conditions. This may lead to uneven surface which will retain water and if the stagnant water freezes in winter, may cause accidents due to tripping. Slate is ideal for milder climates and regions where rainfall is limited.

Granite – Nothing can beat granite when it comes to durability and strength. This stone is offered in brick shaped pieces or cubes and is ideal for formal outdoor spaces. It comes in a riot of attractive colors ranging from grayish blue, dark grey, light grey, green, honey yellow, brown, tan, red, pink and orange. As granite slabs are very expensive, gardeners usually opt for this stone to set as decorative accents in combination with other stones.

Limestone – Limestone offers an elegant and attractive velvety finish when paved as it is fine textured. As compared to sandstone or granite, limestone comes in limited colors, such as cream, pale grey, blue grey, dark grey and tan. Limestone is easy to cut into decorative shapes due to its fine texture and is ideal for paving paths and patios. If your area is exposed to acid rain, it is recommended not to use limestone as this material is susceptible to damage from such rain and can wear excessively in a short period of time. Unless you live in an area prone to serious acid rain, you can use limestone to create attractive and vibrant paving at affordable prices. Hope you get all above point keep in your mind while Designing Landscape Paving.

The Last Mountain: A Call to Action

The Last Mountain is a new documentary film detailing the gross environmental destruction of mountaintop removal [MTR] coal mining, featuring interviews with some of the activists most involved in trying to save the beautiful Appalachian mountains from King Coal.

the-last-mountain-movie

The subject of MTR has been covered previously on this blog in a number of posts, including EPA Halts MTR Permits for Review, with information about EPA administrator Lisa Jackson’s attempt to slow the destruction – a task that has been less than successful due to the power of King Coal. Old King Coal vs. Reality talks about some of the legislative actions attempted by states impacted by MTR to prevent the continued destruction of mountains and entire watersheds – which have also been less than successful. Old King Coal, a Filthy Old Soul described some of the environmental horrors being visited upon the land, water and people of the Appalachian highlands by a coal mining method that has succeeded in eliminating 40,000 jobs for those same people while burying more than 2,000 miles of once pure mountain streams and flattening 500 mountains.

The film’s fine website includes links and outlines of ways you can help end mountaintop removal mining, something people even well outside the Appalachian region should support. We must not allow these most ancient and abundant mountains on earth to be utterly destroyed to serve the bottom line of criminal enterprises like Massey Energy – which racked up more than 60,000 environmental violations between 2000 and 2006 and criminal charges for violations leading to the explosion at its Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia that killed 29 miners in 2008.

It’s not easy to stand against King Coal. Just in the last two years more than 200 people have been arrested in civil disobedience protests just in West Virginia and Kentucky, two states that are suffering the bulk of destruction and the loss of more than a million acres of forest and dozens of towns. This extreme form of coal extraction has turned the coal fields of eastern Kentucky, West Virginia, eastern Tennessee and southwest Virginia into a moonscape of barren, toxic wasteland. What needs to happen, and needs to happen soon, is for so many people to make a stand that the unholy alliance of King Coal, state politicians on the take and law enforcement are forced to step aside.

Please see this film. Arrange a showing (can be done through the website) and invite all your friends and neighbors, maybe your co-workers and boss. Join or support some of the alliance groups that have supported the production of The Last Mountain. Some of these are listed and linked below.

If the Appalachians are destroyed for their coal thousands of homesteads will be destroyed along with them, along with the loving work all those homesteaders did to develop their little pieces of heaven on earth for themselves, their families, and all of us who are making the same effort in our own lives, wherever we are doing it. We all must stand with the people of Appalachia against the forces of destruction-for-profit. Thanks, Homesteaders! Let’s get together and end this outrage now, not later!

Alliance Links:

Appalachian Voices
I Love Mountains
Coal River Mountain Watch
Natural Resources Defense Council
Sierra Club
Waterkeeper Alliance
CREDO Action
Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition