Re: site advice requested
From: Lynne Farnum (lfburrhus.harvard.edu)
Date: Mon, 1 May 95 09:59 CDT
1.  Crushed stone (also known as stone dust) is a wonderful,
fine-textured surface for paths.  Water drains through rather 
than puddling, it provides a nice smooth surface for bicycles
and carriage wheels, the light color is much more attractive
than blacktop (asphalt), and it doesn't reflect heat into the
surrounding air and buildings the way asphalt does.  
        I'm not sure if this is what you mean by "crushed 
gravel" --- that's term is not familiar to me.  What I know as
gravel is pebble-sized pieces of stone.  Gravel is a quick and
easy surface to put down, but is not easy to live with.  It
scatters off the paths into surrounding lawn, garden, or paved
areas, and is difficult to contain even if you pay extra to have
a metal or plastic edge installed along the sides.  It's noisy, 
can be unstable to walk on, and trying to push a stroller or 
bicycle cna be miserable.  Keeping weeds out is also difficult,
because there are such large air spaces between pieces of gravel.
        If what you really want for paths is some kinds of brick
or stone paver, you should probably install that now and not plan
to retrofit.  The problem with putting pavers over the stone dust
or gravel path is that the top of the pavers would be two or three
inches above ground level -- a serious safety hazard.  People could
literally fall off, or trip over, the edge of the path.  And you
can't compensate for that by installing the original path lower,
because it would tend to flood.
        If price is a concern (and isn't it always?), you can get
very attractive pavers that are made of concrete but colored to 
look like brick or cobblestone.  They even come with a little 
bumps on the side that act as spacers, so you don't have to figure
out how to space them all the same distance apart.  They are laid
in sand so no mortar is involved.  Pavers, whether brick or concrete,
are much easier to install, and more stable in the long run, than
flagstone.

2.  Re a fountain or pool: The nicest thing about water in a garden
is the SOUND of running water.  One way to avoid the danger of 
drowning is to have a small flow of water falling onto a cascade of
boulders, then flowing underneath them into a drain to be captured
and recirculated.  This way there is no standing water, therefore
nothing to drown in.  Such a cascade could be freestanding, or it
could come out of a wall of a courtyard.  It could be 3' tall and
cover one beautiful stone with a sheet of water, or it could be 20'
tall and look like a mountain waterfall.  It all depends on the s
scale of the space and your budget.  

Good luck!

Lynne Farnum
Landscape designer in training


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