Cobblestone is often associated with some of the oldest streets in Europe. It hearkens back to a time when horse and buggy were the main mode of transportation, and city roads were either dirt or stone. The paving stones are called cobblestones because the stones were lumps, or cobs, and "cobbled streets" were assembled from the cobs. It also refers to larger pieces of rock hewn into flatter shapes.
Modern cobblestone products are more often brick than rock. The closest you get to the cobbles in European streets are the European cobbles, which may either be manufactured or rescued from destroyed European cobble streets. If you would like any sort of cobblestone product for your yard, here are some ideas to bring some of the classic European beauty of cobblestones to your property.
Long, Winding Driveways
If you have a long winding driveway, such as is common on rural properties or on ranches, the cobblestone driveway is quite charming. If you are also in the habit of riding horses or driving horses and buggies, then the cobblestones are especially useful. These stones were used for paving for thousands of years because they gave shod horses more traction for walking and galloping. Horses are less likely to slip on a cobblestone driveway than they are on mud/dirt or slick concrete.
Footpaths to Your Flowers
Footpaths to your prized roses or whatever other flowers you grow are easily constructed from weathered sandstone cobbles (shaped like bricks). These paths can circle your yard so that visitors can come close to the flowers without stepping onto the lawn or into the flower beds. They also help frame the flower beds in your yard, if you so desire. You can choose from a variety of colors, although black, red, orange, and rust brown are the most common. You can also mix the colors if you would like a more unique look.
Decorative Patios and Outdoor Entertainment Areas
Sure, you could just pour a flat slab of concrete for your patio, but that is so bland. Spice it up with setts, which are related to cobblestones, but are much flatter and can be arranged in dozens of unique patterns. When you use setts, it sets apart the rest of the yard, clearly denoting that this space is for relaxation, parties, and conversation. If you want to see how the setts create patterns, ask your landscaper or outdoor stone and brick expert for pictures of past projects.
Floors of Greenhouses
A recently developed product, smooth-faced cobbles are like floor tiles. Many people are using these as floors for greenhouses because of their very smooth faces. The smooth faces easily wash clean with a garden hose, so if you dump dirt or fertilizer on the stones, you can just blast the dirt/fertilizer out the greenhouse door with the hose, and the cobbles will be sparkling clean again.
In Europe, cobblestones were not just used for streets. In many instances, you can see cobblestone houses and garden walls. Your contractor would have to form vertical concrete walls or use a lot of mortar into which the stones would be pressed, but the result is rather impressive. Instead of other materials for a fence around your property, maybe you would like a cobblestone wall to go with your long, winding, cobblestone driveway. (Just imagine the cobblestone walls in Wales, U.K., and how they are used to fence in sheep!)
Cannot Decide? Ask for Expert Help!
It is typical human nature to get excited about one project and then want to take that project in several directions. Thankfully, your landscaper or stone expert can help you decide what to tackle first. That will give you time to save up for the next cobblestone project.
To learn more about cobblestone products, contact companies like Harristone.