Design Build


Sometimes you get a dream job. To design and build a new landscape that elicits one word: WOW. Starting with the custom design for the project to installing the last bit of ground cover creating this landscape was joyful. The dry stack Timber Ridge Mountain wall stone, quarried locally, leads from the private patio area behind the home to the public side of the home  seen from the front entrance functions to retain the hillside, creating the structure for the semi-formal garden, and setting the line for paths and walkways leading around the gardens on three sides of the home. Viable existing plants were retained and rearranged with new plantings added to bring color and harmony.Wall

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Country Living Room Stone Veneer

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Chose Guardian Stone Masonry work to enhance your home. A worthwhile winter project!

Relax in the charm of a country home. The cultured stone blend enriches the wood tones for a soothing restful getaway for reading or needle work. Imagine the fireplace on a cold winter day, a cup of hot chocolate and the snow falling gently outside in the silence….


“Zee Wow Factor”

Every Guardian installation is unique to the land it is build on.  The lay of the land, and what already exists and works well in the landscape, is considered. The design of the landscape provides a solution for the problems with the existing landscape for the home owner. The area now accented with a fieldstone garden wall was simply a hillside garden. The steep pitch of the hillside made maintaining the garden a dreaded chore. Now the weeding and maintenance of the garden is a labor of love as the slope above the wall is softer, providing a place to stand while weeding or planting.

When we arrived, there was a narrow brick walk, running only a foot away from the home.  The homeowner was envisioning a gracefully curving entrance walk. Additionally, the homeowner loved the existing hand-fired brick and was counting on Guardian to creatively design a solution that brought together the old and the new. Since we were using stone for walls and the back patio, we came up with a solution, to add mountain stone to both ends of the walkway by incorporating the stone into the brick walkway.  The homeowner was delighted with the solution.  She told us, to our amusement, that it had “zee wow factor.”

The hillside behind the home stretched directly into the back of the home, creating a feeling of discomfort and confinement. The flakey shale, tangled weeds and profusion of sumac combined to create a obtrusive view from the kitchen and dining room. Guardian widened the area by cutting back the bank and building another fieldstone retaining wall.  A  new mountain stone patio stretches between the home and the retaining wall for summer lounging.  The hill side was scraped to remove all of the tangled overgrowth. A maintenance free mixture of orchard grass and white clover was  planted on the steep lower level of the hillside. The upper level was landscaped with a mixture of flowering shrubs for a dramatic new view.













Interior Overlay

Fireplace Overlay

Natural stone fireplaces radiate warmth, evoking stirrings of comfort in all of us.  Curl up with a friend, and a glass of wine to enjoy an evening of conversation, or snuggle with furry four legged friend. Bring on the cocoa and a good book for a soothing winter afternoon.

The homeowner wanted a signature sunburst pattern embedded into the stone, making their fireplace a unique addition to their home. This avid “do -it -your- selfer”, with the wisdom to ask for help, lent our stone mason a hand with this project. He participated in mixing mud and carrying stones, and assisted on the exciting highlight of the project by picking through stones to come up with the pieces for the sunburst at the top of the fireplace.

The classic beauty of stone has the modern advantage of low maintenance and sustained value.  Our seasoned mason can guide you through choices of color and pattern to create a unique look suited to your taste and style.

House Front Minto

Exterior Stone Overlay

Chimney OverlayMake a Statement
From rugged to refined, from elemental to elegant, stone offers a range patters, styles, and blended colors guaranteed to turn heads.  A natural stone facade add both beauty and value to your home.  Avoid the cookie cutter look, with an array of choices available in natural or faux stone installed by a masterful stone mason, so your home can truly be your castle.

The homeowner for whom this project was created, has her own special sense of style. So we personalized it, with a unique blend of Americana, Williamsburg and Early American. The result: A spectacular statement all her own.  She chose her stones carefully, blending two types of stone for the lovely overlay.  She and our staff worked diligently to come up with just the right color for the grout between stones.   Our stone mason chose stone for the star on the chimney as a surprise that delighted her.



Art of Floating

Form follows function was the basis of thought behind this landscape.   Design and materials were carefully considered before the project began.  The design enhances the Craftsman home that is used as part of the business, as well as tying the look of the home to the brick and stone facade of the more modern float center building.  Broad straight sidewalks were laid using local mountain stone quarried in Columbia County. The brick-edged walk and planting bed keep clients from straying off of the path into lawn or garden areas. All walks and the garden bath behind the house lead to the float centers mountain stone patio.  The beautiful stone work shows the skill of Guardian craftsmenship.

Mature plant material was chosen for an instantly established look for the foundation plantings.  Fifteen gallon azaleas bloom heavily in the spring, this hybrid has light bloom throughout the summer and fall. Frankalina trees were added for an element of surprise. The Frankalina, a genus of the tea tree was discovered by William Bartram in 1790, on a river bank in Georgia.  This tree became extinct in the wild in the early 19th century, and will now grow only in cooler regions in the US.   Fankalina, named for Benjamin Franklin a friend of Bartram, has camellia like flowers that bloom late August until frost. Twelve foot tall Longwood Gold Hollies with yellow berries that pull the eye down from the interesting roof lines of the house to the garden.






Patio and Retaining Wall

These home owners are busy professionals with children entering middle school and high school.  The design was crafted to enhance the living space for the family while providing an inviting area for entertaining colleagues.  The home is situated, like many homes in this area, on a hillside. The first aspect of design was to establish the differences in the grades (elevations) for planning steps, wall heights, and patio levels.  The function of the retaining wall is to create enough space for the patio while also providing additional seating when entertaining guests. Much to the relief of the homeowners, the design of the hardscape included a practical approach that addressed a pesky drainage problem.

Existing shrubs were culled, and all were removed from the landscape.  Viable plant materials were moved, and reused throughout the landscape. Shade tolerant plant materials were chosen for ease of care.

Lighting features were added to create an inviting ambiance, making evening entertaining safe and easy.  The walls and steps are lit with halogen lamps that fit under the lip of the wall and step caps, spilling soft light where it is most needed.  Matching path and porch lights add a touch of charm.  Up lights installed in the wooded areas call out an evening invitation with light dancing through the tall trees imitating the flicker of a camp fire.