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Ideas for Landscaping With Slate Rock

By Kathy Adams ; Updated September 21, 2017

Slate's classic gray color offers a neutral shade that pairs well with numerous landscaping projects for your yard and garden. Repurpose old slate roofing tiles as edging for a garden or flower bed, or stack pieces of slate around your latest pond or waterfall project to give the aquascape a more natural look.

Garden Edging

Use old slate roofing tiles -- even broken bits -- as an eclectic border for your flowerbeds or gardens. Pick slate pieces that are fairly consistent in height, or score them and snap them in half to get the tiles down to a more manageable size. Search flea markets, yard sales in old farm areas or even a structural salvage yard for roofing slate. Look for cracked or broken pieces that are likely to be offered at a bargain price. To install the edging, dig a narrow trench at least 2 inches deep along the edge of the garden area. Set the slate pieces vertically in the trench -- or even diagonally -- then back-fill the area behind the slate with more dirt.

Rock Gardens

Ditch the usual gravel and standard decorative rocks for slate chips instead. Make a rock garden using slate chips to highlight your favorite colorful plant, or use the chips in place of gravel along a stepping-stone walkway. Create a winding path of slate chips through a large yard or garden, or pair the slate with a light-colored stone to create two-tone designs such as a yin-yang symbol-shaped rock garden.

Slate Walls

Use slabs of slate to create retaining walls around raised flower beds or soil that may otherwise erode along a steep slope. Create a curved wall from slate, using a sturdier stone such as limestone as a built-in bench seat along the wall.

Water Features

  • Hide the edges of an unsightly plastic pond liner with chunks of slate. Stack the slate around the perimeter of the pond so it hangs over the water slightly, then add several more layers of slate, staggering the stones so they stay in place. 
  • Embellish your water feature with a waterfall by stacking a wall of slate at one end of the pond or fountain. Run the pump tubing behind and between stacks of slate near the top of the pile to create the cascading water effect.
 

About the Author

 

Kathy Adams is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer who traveled the world handling numerous duties for music artists. She writes travel and budgeting tips and destination guides for USA Today, Travelocity and ForRent, among others. She enjoys exploring foreign locales and hiking off the beaten path stateside, snapping pics of wildlife and nature instead of selfies.