Pennsylvania Bluestone is one of the most popular kinds of stone paving material in America. It has been quarried longer than we have been a nation, being both sturdy and relatively easy to shape, and also due to it’s layered quality which makes it somewhat easy to quarry.
Homeowners often go back and forth about which style of this material would be better for the look of their home: random flagstone or dimensional squares and rectangles? In my opinion, it depends more on what you have planned for your yard than it does the architectural style of the house. If your landscape design is going to be made to look woodsy, wild or rustic in any way, the random flagstone is definitely the way to go. If your landscape is meant to be more formal – manicured lawn, picket fence, brick walls – then dimensional patterns are much more appropriate.
Keep in mind that, these days, the flagstone from Pennsylvania is not very Blue, due to the fact that most or all of the available material near the surface of the ground has been used. For that reason, it is referred to as Pennsylvania Variegated Flagstone, and it’s color ranges from gray to tan with a smattering of blue-gray, some pieces frosted with a rust or brown mineral patina.
For this project shown to the right, the designer had us put in a long rectangle of dimensional pavers with an adjacent patch of random flagstones. The flagstones were set in a very loose, “stepping stone” arrangement, and this path of stones was to encroach into the dimensional rectangle. It’s a nice contrast which I think adds a lot to the look of the owner’s heavily-used patio area. The gray box is a gas fireplace with a stainless steel top.
The landscape design was done by Rik Adams of Adams/Mohler/Ghillino Architects. It was a great experience working with him and with the clients, whose home looks out on a peaceful ravine next to Discovery Park in Seattle.
by Mark Shepherd www.ShepherdStoneworks.com
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