Our clients’ beautiful country home needed some updating. They wanted us to create continuity between the house and the yard by covering the masonry wall attached to the side of the house. Since the wall was in perfect shape, just a little dirty, they asked us cover it with Oklahoma flagstone and replace an existing railroad tie wall to match it.
Parts of the house are accented with stone that is called Oklahoma Pinks and Tans. We have done many projects with this stone. It is lighter in color, having more pinks and whites than the more popular and frequently used Tennessee stone. Tennessee stone has more browns and greys and looks similar to stones from Georgia.
To the right of the concrete wall, was a railroad tie timber wall and steps. Both of these were rotting and needed replacing. We decided to extend the concrete wall (by using concrete block) to the steps and then adding stone to the front with the same Pinks and Tans.
We replaced the timber steps with natural Oklahoma stone. These stone steps (Image 4) are quarried then cut from large slabs of rock into 36” or 48” x 18” steps. They come in different heights, but we use and prefer the 6-8” height. The slabs can weight over 300 pounds each and will stay in place for many more years than wood. In my opinion, they are also much more attractive.
The hardest part of this project was finding the stone. Normally, we would call up our trusty Gainesville, GA supplier and the stone would be delivered. But 2022 was not a typical year. So, after calling all the stone suppliers in North Georgia, Jason found it at a supplier in Tennessee. The stone had to match perfectly, or these walls and steps would not look right with the house.
Instead of pouring an additional concrete wall we decided, for drainage purposes, that concrete blocks would be better. Due to the hillside behind it, the wall will experience some strong hydrostatic pressure, so we filled every other cell of the concrete block with concrete and iron rebar and then backfilled behind the wall with size 57 stone.
Our work locating the correct stone, building a new wall, sculpting, and installing new steps are examples of the many different elements involved in any given project. This project illustrates our attention to detail and to fulfilling the needs of the client. Whether a bicycle is involved or not, we at Art of Stone Gardening work in tandem with our clients. Have a project in mind? Give us a call, and we can take it for a spin.