Is stone mortared or laid dry?
Usually our stone is laid dry. Patios are laid on a gravel and sand foundation with a soil/sand mixture in grouts to encourage natural greening over time. We will imbed stone dust in grouts for a more formal look if requested. We do not lay stone over old concrete slabs but will break up and remove the concrete and other rubble from the site before proceeding. We will mortar walls if necessary, although we tend to avoid cement because it may crack over time.
How about brick and concrete block patios?
We prefer not to use brick as it tends to splinter and crack over time. But we do lay brick—usually the old “antique” brick. We also discourage concrete block patios.
How is stone sold?
We sell stone by the square foot for patios. For walls and ponds, we sell it by the skid, depending on the type of stone selected.
What about unused stone left on the job?
If we do the installation, we remove any leftover stone from the site and only charge for the actual amount used. Other situations can be negotiated.
Will stone cause drainage problems?
We minimize drainage problems by installing our stone on sand and gravel, and by pitching patios away from the house. If necessary, walls abutting the patio can be waterproofed.
Will you remove trees and other rubbish from the site?
Our estimate includes a container for removing most rubbish connected to a job. We will remove small trees from the site, but if large trees need to be removed, we will recommend an arborist.
How thick is your patio stone?
Standard patio stone is 1.5” to 2” thick. The thickness varies, so sand is used under the stone to produce a smooth, level surface for garden furniture, etc. We can provide thinner stone for interior installations, or for patios to be set in cement.
Uncut or irregular stone is a little cheaper but is more difficult to install, so there is no real price advantage. Irregular stone usually comes in large, heavy pieces and installations can be quite beautiful.
Garden path stepping-stones are fairly rough and create a more rustic looking patio. Stepping-stones are often laid in the soil where they can be surrounded by herbs or other plantings, or natural growth.
Coping stone is 3” to 4” thick and usually used at the edges of a patio or for steps. We can provide stone steps in a variety of finishes with flamed or rocked edges. See our display garden for samples.
What about New England stone walls?
We can install classic New England stone walls in a variety of styles, including thin wall, heavy wall, snapped edge, ashlars (block-like stones), water-washed and random wall, which is a mixture of stone sizes and shapes. Much of our wall stone has lichen and moss growth.
Do you carry stone for ponds and water features?
We carry water-washed stone and can provide a variety of specialty boulders, gravels and pebbles for use in ponds. Some of our water-washed stones are suitable as feature stones for Zen gardens or similar installations. We install ponds and water features (lighting and hardware are negotiable), but we are not fish or water plant experts. However, we can refer you to specialists in these areas.
Do you carry cobblestones?
Yes, we carry standard and jumbo Belgium block and natural cobbles suitable for edging and retaining a patio. The stone comes in a variety of sizes and colors, including black, rose and beige for specialty orders.
How long does it take to lay a patio?
It depends on the size and complexity, but most of our installations take between 7 and 21 working days to complete. We prefer to do one job at a time so you can be enjoying your garden as soon as possible.
Do you deliver stone to the site?
Yes, unlike most suppliers, we deliver right to the site, not just to your curbside. We pride ourselves in being able to carry large and beautiful stone through your home to your backyard with great care and no damage to your property. We also clean up the premises once the job is complete.
What is your payment policy?
We ask for one-third of the estimate to start the job, and the balance in two payments over the course of completing the work. We do not accept credit cards, but we welcome your personal check and will provide a 5% discount for cash. If you are purchasing stone only without installation, terms are C.O.D.
Can your stone be used indoors?
Absolutely. We will be happy to consult with you on your interior projects.
How long have you been in business?
We began gardening in the Brooklyn brownstone area in 1996, and began installing stone the following year when we found our suppliers and realized nobody offered the variety of stone that we did. We learned how to lay stone by doing it a lot, and in 2004 we added permaculture consulting to our list of services. Stone & Garden now has a branch office in Hancock, New York (considered “the bluestone capital of the world”), which we share with the Hancock Permaculture Center.
What is permaculture?
Permaculture is a philosophy of working with nature to develop sustainable systems that preserve and extend the effectiveness of natural systems. Elements of permaculture include landscape and organic food production, sun, shade, water, stone, and community. Low-impact systems like solar energy, small-scale hydro power, greenhouses, recycled building materials and eco-friendly home design are all part of the permaculture agenda.
Where does your stone come from?
Our stone is quarried in the Upper Delaware region of New York and Pennsylvania, one of the country’s richest sources of stone. Our new office in Hancock, New York, is in the heart of bluestone country, about 150 miles northwest of Manhattan at the headwaters of the Delaware River. The stone for many Manhattan skyscrapers, including the Empire State Building and the base of the Statute of Liberty, comes from this area.
In what colors are stones available?
Bluestone comes in muted grays, greens, blues, lilac and ferric, which features a rust-red (iron oxide) cast. Fieldstone used in walls and ponds comes in similar colors and may also carry moss and lichens, which turn bright green when wet. Stone looks best when wet. Japanese gardeners actually wet their stone when they are having guests.
How is stone cut and fabricated?
Stone yards use huge diamond tipped blades to fabricate stone. We use power tools with special blades and chisels to cut and fit the stone when laying your patio.
How much does a skid of stone weigh?
An average skid may weigh 3,000 lbs. (1.5 tons). That’s usually enough to complete a 100 sq. ft. patio, or a stone wall 10’ long and 18” high.
The Best Variety of Natural Stone in the Area