When we are doing landscaping projects, we learn a lot of new terms. One of them may be fieldstones. What even are fieldstones? Stones that come from fields? Well, you’d be partially correct.
Fieldstones are naturally occurring rocks that are originally found near the earth’s surface, so primarily in the topsoil. Fieldstones occur because of glacial deposition in primarily temperate climates. Glacial deposition is caused by glacial periods, the last known of which is the Wisconsin Glaciation. The fieldstones we find and use are leftover from this last glacial period.
But enough about history. Where can we find fieldstones? Because fieldstones are found in the topsoil in temperate climates, they are often found in large agriculture fields, so they are mostly found by farmers when trying to expand their cultivated land. Due to the nature of the fieldstones, they interfere with the farmland’s natural aeration, so farmers remove them.
Environmentally, using fieldstones for landscaping processes is very sustainable. Because we are not manufacturing products, we are finding these fieldstones in nature, and we cut down on production costs. We can also feel like we are more environmentally-friendly because we reuse what is already available in the environment. That being said, fieldstones may be modified slightly to account for storage and to fit in with our final project. For example, fieldstones may be flattened slightly so they can be stacked on top of each other.
The beauty of fieldstones is that they are natural and unique. Because fieldstones are naturally occurring, they are not uniform in shape or size. Like a snowflake, you will never find two identical field stones, which makes fieldstones ideal for people who are looking for a unique and cultivated look for their landscaping project.
There are different types of fieldstones, one of which is the Gabion stone. Gabion stones are typically meant to be used in gabions, which are wire nets that contain unflattened stones that can’t be stacked into a usable shape. While this type of fieldstone may initially seem weird, Gabion stones are actually incredibly useful with a whole host of different landscaping projects and are used around the world! The San Marco Castle in Milan is made with Gabion stones. Gabion stones are especially useful for erosion control, storm management ponds, bulkheads, and slope protection. They also have uses for landscaping and stone walls. Let’s explore these more!
Use Fieldstones for Retaining Walls
Retaining walls are walls used to support soil and other elements on either side of the wall. You have seen retaining walls all over, as they are characteristically found on the sides of roads, keeping soil and rocks from tumbling onto the road. Retaining walls are designed to resist the pressure and force from slanted soil. Typically when soil is at an angle, it has a tendency to exert extra force, but retaining walls are able to hold this pressure and prevent spillage. A retaining or Gabion wall’s design is wire or a strong net containing a bunch of stones pressed together.
It may seem like you can fill a gabion with any type of stone, but Gabion stones are unique in that they provide so many different positive qualities for retaining walls. For one, Gabion stones are incredibly sturdy, as they are mostly made out of granite, quartzite, or sandstone, all very sturdy rocks. Second, they are durable against the elements, so they will last a long time outside.
Retaining walls aren’t all covered in wire, though. You can also find retaining walls that are just stacked rocks, but these tend to be less sturdy and are found in areas with less soil. If you want the most sturdy retaining walls, Gabion stones are the way to go!
Use Fieldstones on Patios
Gabion stones are also great for building patios, particularly because of their weather-resistant qualities. Fieldstones are generally very durable because of how they were created – from the glacial period. Gabion stones are great for ground stabilization and will provide long-lasting quality care for your patio. What makes Gabion stones most unique for building patios is that they do not require foundation, which can save you a lot of time and energy when building the patio. Most other rocks will require you to build a foundation underneath a layer of rocks for your patio, but Gabion stones do not require that extra step.
Build Walkways with fieldstones
Similar to patios, Gabion stones are perfect to be used with walkways. The main unique feature we saw with patios is here, too! Generally walkways require a layer of foundation underneath the walkway to keep the path sturdy and to prevent sinking, but if you build a walkway with Gabion stones, you will not need to create a layer of foundation. Additionally, if you are looking to add a rustic accent to your landscaping, Gabion stones offer unique texture and quality to the front or back of your home.
Dry Creek Beds Can Use Fieldstones
One of the most durable aspects of the Gabion stone is that it is weather-resistant, and that means that it is also water-resistant! That makes Gabion stones perfect for dry creek beds, as the Gabion stone will not corrode with time. Your dry creek bed will last for a long time because the Gabion stones will be able to keep it durable.
Fieldstones can be Accents Too
Outside of functional use, though Gabion stones are beautiful, unique, and textured, unlike many manufactured or processed stones. Gabion stones are like snowflakes – each one is unique – which makes them the perfect accent to anything in your home’s landscaping. Adding Gabion stones around a walkway, outlining certain plants, or creating a pile in the corner of your yard will all elevate the look and feel of your curb appeal landscaping.
Overall, Gabion stones, and all fieldstones, provide both durability and beauty to your land. Whether you are looking for a rock that will last a lifetime or one that will elevate your already beautiful yard, Gabion stones are the way to go!