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Lead your landscape design in the right direction with stepping stones

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Your property is a piece of land that can be turned into whatever you want. It can be an extension of your living space by creating an outdoor room. it can be a source of fresh, tasty, nutritious foods. Or it can be your own backyard vacationland to share with friends, family, or to rest, relax and re-energize yourself. However you want to use the space around your house, a perfect way to connect the different spaces is by using paths created with stepping stones.

Paths can be formal or informal. Stones can be natural or handmade. Although rock, stone or cement are likely to be the longest-lasting, easy-care materials for creating a footpath, wood, metal or any other weather-resilient material can be used. You can use natural stone that comes in just about any color, or concrete that can be poured into any shape and colored with pigments in the cement mix. Cement, before it sets up hard, can be textured or garnished with impressed materials like tumbled glass, marbles or pebbles, or painted or acid stained. Natural stone or wood can be cut smoothly or left with natural, random edges. Even disks sliced from a tree trunk can make handsome stepping stones.

Another possibility is to craft your own steppingstones. Using different kinds of forms you can pour your own stones with cement or plaster of Paris and imprint them with textures or designs to make them into art. Or you can hand paint them with outdoor pigments. Making steppingstones can be a project for you or for the whole family.

Once you’ve decided what kind of stepping stone will enhance the style of your overall landscape, lay them out so they complement the overall design of your garden. Straight lines look best with contemporary or formal designs. Curves work best with a more natural, informal flow.

There are all kinds of ready-made stepping stones available in garden centers and catalogs. Buy designs that you like or use those ideas to inspire your own creations. You can even recycle discarded slabs of chopped concrete or broken bricks for interesting effects – for free.

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