Plants require frequent attention, and many must be entirely replanted each year. It's nice to have a few elements in your yard that will take care of themselves. Stone landscaping is durable, extremely long-lasting and, in many cases, maintenance-free. Best of all, stones look better with age as the weather wears away their sides and mosses and lichens give them color and texture.
Boulders are durable, maintenance-free, and will likely last longer than your house. To stabilize a hill, construct a boulder retaining wall, using a pile of rough-hewn boulders with flat tops and bottoms for a primitive wall to hold back erosion. Embed a few boulders 6 inches or so into the ground around your garden as natural-looking feature rocks. Embed flattened boulders into a hillside to create a rugged terrace, then use large square stines to make a path to it.
Stone Fire Pit
Stone is an ideal material for an outdoor fireplace. To build a simple firepit, dig a flat-bottomed hole 2 to 3 feet wide and 1 foot deep and line the bottom with flat stones. Use bricks or rocks to line the sides and create a raised stone ring around it.
Or, build an outdoor stone fireplace. On a rock or brick patio, build a semicircular structure out of stone brick about 5 feet high and 3 feet in diameter. Light a fire inside the semicircle and gather your friends and family in front of the open end of the semicircle.
A stone labyrinth will bring a touch of the spiritual to your yard. Draw out a labyrinth on your yard with flour, rope, marking spray or some other material. The labyrinth should wind into the center and then back out again without any branching paths. Trace out the labyrinth with stones of any size you choose. Use the labyrinth as a meditation aid by slowly walking the entire path with a calm mind. As you use the labyrinth, your feet will gradually wear a trail into the ground, adding further interest to the design.