Sunday, January 8, 2012

As old as time....Stonework

Book: The French Cat

Have you ever admired stones from afar whether they were steps or some intricately worked structure and wish you could incorporate that feature into your garden?

Veranda, August 2009

Hoping against hope those ancient stones lead to a place of beauty all your own?

Michael Trapp

A secret garden not typically meant for viewing by others.....

Country French 2011

Book: The French Cat

Traditional Home Magazine October 2009

A place to sit and relax and enjoy the sounds of the peace around and within you?

Southern Accents, 2004


I’m very fortunate to have such a place, a world to call my own where I can enjoy Mother Nature and a glass of wine but first it needs some dressing.

My image of our carriage barn

I asked for stones for Christmas and Mister Man was kind enough to search them out for me. Beautiful rough-cut slabs of granite stones perfect for steps that will lead up and around to our secret garden. See that small hill going up and around the carriage barn? That’s where we’ll start placing 6-7 foot long stones weighing in at over a thousand pounds a piece for steps.

Some of our stones
My image

Around back I’ve already place a plinth and antique urn. Our secret garden will overlook our back yard which is lower and surrounded by old stonewalls that hold the earth back. Our carriage barn is built into the side of the mountain that's why the height difference.

My image

The stone steps will lead up and around to this area our secret garden, it isn’t much to look at now but just you wait……

My image

That cut out area is where Mister Man is going to install a stone patio off the French doors. The patio will also be made up of thick granite stones and just the other day when Dylan dog and I were out mucking around we came upon a perfect stone for our patio…don’t worry it’s on our property.

My image

It’s perfect covered in moss but since a small single stone such as this weighs 300 pounds Dylan dog and I left it for Mister Man to haul around for the patio.

Book: Italian Rustic

When our patio is finished it’ll look like this image and we’ll place moss in the cracks. We’re going to turn our secret garden into something a bit old world European with everything in shades of green. I hope you stay tune to watch our journey.

Do any of you have stone features that you could share a tip or two with Mister Man and myself, we would love to hear.


Teresa Hatfield ~ Splendid Sass said...

Beautiful, Debra! Reminds me of my grandmother's house. Nothing more beautiful than stone.
Have a nice Sunday.

savvycityfarmer said...

makes my heart pound !!!

Is the carriage house for rent?

Karena said...

Debra, Your garden will be mesmerizing! That stone arch! I have always loved stonework.

Art by Karena

Taylor Greenwalt said...

Debra, it sounds wonderful.. Cant wait to see it.

michele said...

ooooooh i could get lost in that last image. how gorgeous and perfectly rustic is that patio?!? can't wait to watch its progress.

smiles to you and your new stones!


Fashion-isha said...

I love hardscaping...there's something so romantic and beautiful about stones combined with greenery. These photos were perfect for looking at in the middle of the winter!

Sharon Lee Johnson said...

There is something so romantic and atmospheric about stonework in a garden. I almost expect and elf to peep out from under one of the stones! So looking forward to seeing your wonderful project come to life. X Sharon

designchic said...

There is nothing I love more than aged stone...these images are gorgeous!! Can't wait to see you work you magic ~

La Dolfina said...

Your carriage barn is beautiful as is your property. It already looks like paradise to me :)

Bohemian said...

We were Blessed with a very Old House and Wall that has a lot of Stonework and Adobe... only problem is, when you need restoration of it, so few Masons anymore know how to work with it the way it was done almost a Century ago. *Le Sigh* Our wall, which is almost 100 years old, needs some restoration and as yet we have found absolutely nobody that knows how to do repairs and restoration, its frustrating.

But I do so Love anything built of Stone and other Natural local elements, they don't detract from the Natural environment.

Happy New Year from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

La Brocanteuse said...

This is a wonderfull and exciting project to start the new year with! Looking forward to follow the progress so please keep us posted with all the detail?!...have a lovely week hugs & xx Colette-Afrique du Sud

The enchanted home said...

What a fun and very beautiful all the inspiration and what peaceful and restful spot you are going to create! Its going to be a refuge, your "Calgon take me away" kind of place, and we all need one! I would love to do somtehing like this down the road, first need to move in and settle in but definitely something at some point I would love to do. Good luck and cannot wait to see more Debra!

Greet Lefèvre said...

Oh Debra, what a beautiful images!
That stone path at your barn will be gorgeous, I am sure!!

Barbara@HausDesign said...

How lovely that will be with the moss poking through! I love all of these images - such a sense of history, romance and mystery!

Victoria said...

This is an absolutely beautiful post, Debra. They are all going into my garden inspiration file. The house I lived in for thirty years in the Hudson valley was replete with stone paths, stone patios, stone walls and a stone staircase perfect for a bride's entrance. We had them installed by a very talented stone mason and it is one of the things I miss most about moving to SW Florida. That look is perfect for your property and I cannot wait to follow your progress. Luck you to have Mr. Man.
All the best...Victoria

Thoughts on Design said...

Mr. Man must have a tractor and a backhoe. I'm jealous!!! Having done a little stonework over the years, my two suggestions are:

1. Get the drainage and pitch of the patio right so you don't end up with standing water by the fondation of your barn.

2. Be sure your setting bed is done well. It needs to drain water and be stable so that the stones don't move as you go through the classic New England freeze/thaw cycles of winter and spring.


Anonymous said...

Love your carriage barn.. I would love a secret garden to escape to!! xo

Heather Robinson said...

You have to love a woman that asks for stones for Christmas--and I am not talking about the sparkly kind!

Your garden is going to be so wonderful, so peaceful! I will look forward to seeing it come into being.


Bonnie said...

I really want to take pictures in front of some of this stonework. I bet they would be gorgeous!
Twitter: @GlamKitten88

Alison said...

I am enjoying your blog so much. The idea of a secret garden is wonderful. I love your ideas and plans, I cannot wait to see it when it's done. I love rockscapes.

LA CONTESSA said... will be worth the wait!

Unknown said...

What a wonderful project!! I have a drawing for my "secret garden" but it will have to wait until the main renovation is done. Might have to wait until next year, which is not what I had hoped....but all good things, etc...

To have a place to relax outside in nature, with those you love or in glorious solitude....that is bliss.

Happy Monday!
xo Elizabeth

Ispirato Design said...

Such a heavy topic! :) With all of the inspiration you supplied, I have no problem visualizing your future garden. I can't wait to see it develop!

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Debra, I love the stone work. This will be beyond fabulous when completed!

Room Seventeen said...

Beautiful inspiration. I'm looking forward to see the end results!

NikAntik said...

Mmmmm, I do love stones - I always love to go to places where I can take some of them with me. Of course, only the smaller and lighter versions. I am looking forward to seeing the result of Mr. Big's work. Hugs to you and Dylan-boy, Nik

Anonymous said...

OMG, you are so lucky to get rocks in your stocking for Christmas!! ok, maybe not rocks and they're not in your stocking...but as a horticulturist and garden designer, I love stone and I am experiencing a bad case of stone-envy!!!
your old world garden is going to be stunning!!

Stacey said...

I so envy you your property! Your surrounding/environs is so magical! I've always admired stone gardens too and I know the Mister is going to create a fabulous one for you! Can't wait to see it! XX

Suzanne said...

ITS BEAUTIFUL! I cant wait to see it finished!

parenting articles said...

that is such an interesting place

parenting articles

Acanthus and Acorn said...

Amazing images, I just want to step through the computer barefoot and walk around! Look forward to seeing yours complete, so I can visit...often!

Unknown said...

What beautiful gardens! Currently working on mine too. Look forward to seeing the finished product.

Anonymous said...

by all means, if I can share any of my horticultural knowledge with you, just let me know.. :)

Decor de Provence said...

Debra!!! Oh my goodness... I cannot wait to see!!! I can't tell you how much I LOVE old stone; you and your husband's vision is going to be so dreamy! I'm so happy for you! Thanks for sharing! Much love to you!


pve design said...

Love to share some of my stone work tips with your Mr. Man. Our stone mason who is an angel tempted us to do what is called a "seat wall" which we love and when we entertain it becomes the go to wall. I need to do an entire post or blog devoted to stones. There is nothing finer than a stone wall, ledge, outcropping, patio, or place to make one feel grounded.

lvroftiques said...

I love stone work and secret gardens! I can't wait to see yours when it's finished. And yeppers those babies get heavy fast.
...And don't "love" pink? I never would've guessed..Lol! Well next week I think I have a couple of things more to your liking...they're classic french and have patina *winks*...Oh and I promise no scary dolls heh heh Vanna

Maison de lin said...


I'm sure, this gone a be gorgeous!!


P.S. a happy new year and all the best for 2012!!!

Divine Theatre said...

The entire notion of planning ahead is quite foreign to me! I envy you! I know that the final results will be even more stunning than any of the photos have such a magical world living in your head!

Kisses to Dylan and Kitty,

LaPouyette said...

Oh Debra, it will look fabulous! I can imagine! Nothing better than walking onto a stone paved patio. And the position behind your barn, together with the trees and the existing stone wall...just very natural.

I love the last image. Just let me say: I only can strongly recommend not to have moss growing in the joints/gaps between the stones, as nice and natural as it would look. First - in shady places moss could grow allover the stones and could be a menace! Also when wet very slippery to walk.
Being surrounded here from all kind of stone work I can tell from experience that it could mean endless cleaning to avoid not to end up, sooner or later depend on the position, with a carpet of moss covering all the stones.
The other thing: In any gaps between the stones you will have weeds growing which you either clean out regularly by hand (backbraking!) or have to be treated with a weed killer.

Again from our experience - the only way to avoid all this is no gaps/space between the stones, filling the joints/gaps with ciment which can be colored to look more natural. And I'm sure that Mr. Man knows that the stones have to be set onto/into a bed of sand.

Looking so much forward seeing how you progress on this stone-project - your secret garden!

Have a lovely Sunday my dear friend,

Blooming Rose Musings said...

It will be fabulous! Your vision is wonderful and I can only imagine how perfect it will be with your beautiful carriage barn. I will be looking forward to the progress and results. I'm sure it will be magnificent!

debra @ 5th and state said...

nothing beats stone and being in the granite state it's so accessible. lucky girl, poor mr. man!

had the opportunity once to go to michael trapp's garden and the man is a genius with stone. can't wait to see your genius......

quintessence said...

What a marvelous project!! I love all your inspiration - beautiful!! I've always adored stone paths and terraces. We have a lovely bluestone terrace but not secret and secluded as yours. Can't wait to see - sounds simply marvelous!

Mary Ann Pickett said...

I love love love this look. It will be fun to see your progress. In our last house I had a stone topped outdoor table like the one you show. It was a leftover piece of granite that I used on the unpolished side. I miss that table!

Veronica said...

I will most certainly stay tuned to see it! love these images of stone!


Ivy Clad said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous post, Debra! I love stones in a landscape.

I haven't forgotten about the Liebster Award that you gave me and will be posting it on my next post later this week, as well as passing it on! Thank you again for the honor!


Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

Wow, this is going to be fabulous! The stonework inspirations are beautiful and I am sure with the moss covered slab you found you are going to have a great jumping off point.

I am working on my award post, I am honored you selected me! Will post this week.

Hope you are having a wonderful week, and some good and not too chilly weather.

Luciane at said...

How one of my favorite blogger is doing today?

See? That's why I love coming here. I learn so much w/ you. You're always so inspiring!

I can't wait to see when everything is done.


Luciane at

PS: I have an exciting giveaway today (Luxurious Bed Sheet). Drop by if you have a minute!

Nella Miller said...

Dear Debra. I just did a post this week on moss , and yes stones in my garden! Channeling the very same thoughts! We did all the stone work in our garden thirty years ago and it defines our garden pretty much...they are the cornerstone of its design. I would me happy to share our experiences with you. We are currently embarking on a rather large interior Yukkkk. N.xo

Nella Miller said...

Renovation that is! Slept in today , and must still be asleep!
Sorry . N.xo

for the love of a house said...

That sounds like something I would do... ask for "stone" for xmas!! With Rick's stonemason skills it will be a wonderful retreat I'm sure!

Hope all is well on your side of the mountain!

Mona Thompson Providence Ltd. said...

Debra, What a gorgeous post...I am in love with stone and the older and mossier the better. Your secret garden is going to be fabulous. Thanks so much for your kind words for Cappi. Hold Dylan real close. XO, Mona

Aurelia said...

Beautiful photos, amazing places - The Secret Garden....

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