Millstones in the Garden

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Last year we completed a project that included a small water feature for the family’s dog to take a quick drink when outside. The feature needed to be low, include moving water and do the best at keeping the dog’s paws from getting soaked.  The solution we designed was an old millstone resting over river rocks with water bubbling up through the center of the stone and falling down the sides into a reservoir below.  This was not designed to be a large focal point of the garden, but was highly visible when on the patio space so had to find the right sized millstone. (I have no photo to share since we have not photographed the project yet, but will update the post once we shoot.) 


Millstones in the Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 This is a collection showcases the variation millstones can be found from English Garden Antiques (here). 



Millstones are fairly easy to find from back when milling of corn and wheat was done locally both on the larger and small scale, creating many different sized stones. Searching your local stone companies or Craigslist will produce lots of options. We found our stone over Craigslist in Southern Ohio as part of a the matched pair. Good key terms to search are; millstone, mill stone, antique.


Millstones in the Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Millstones in the Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

The above two images are from a local stone suppliers (Lones Stone) selection of mill stones. Search your local stone suppliers to see what options are available. 


The stones are versatile for use the landscape given the variety of sizes and thicknesses.  They can be used as fountains, stepping stones, in paving, stone walls, table, bench or focal art. Here are some examples for creative inspiration.


Millstones in the Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood, Martha Stewart's Bedford, CT Home

Millstones in the Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood, Martha Stewart's Bedford, CT Home

The above two millstones are from Martha Stewart’s Bedford Farm. These are each incorporated into the hardscape areas. (Images from Martha’s Blog here)


Millstones in the Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood, Miriam's River House Designs

This garden designed by Miriam’s River House Designs, features a millstone at the center of a garden designed by the principles of a circle. (Image and more of the design found here)


Millstones in the Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood, Janice Parker Landscape Design

Janice Parker Landscape used a millstone fountain in the center of this landscape. (Image Janice Parker Landscape’s website, here)


Millstones in the Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood, Ten Eyck Landscape Architects, Austin TX

This millstone is used as a bench and gathering location in the personal garden of Christine Ten Eyck in Austin Texas. The image is from here and you can see more of Ten Eyck Landscape Architects work here




Millstones in the Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Here are large millstone is used as a table in the garden in the harsh salt air of Nantucket, MA. This garden is designed by The Garden Design Company, and you can find more of their work here. Image from Veranda Magazine here.


Millstones in the Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

This image is from Ohio Barns (here) which showcases the old millstones from the Weisenberger Mill (near Lexington, KY) used in stone walls. 


Another great option to use are antique stone well caps. These have the same central hole, however are typically square or even more irregular. To help in search terms try well cap, well cover, stone and I include vintage and antique to weed out anything faux stone.


Millstones in the Garden, Thinking Outside the BoxwoodMillstones in the Garden, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 The above are two examples of full slab well covers, the top one is from Central Main Stoneworks (Here) and the second if off Craig’s List near Cleveland Ohio. It is 64 x 48 x 8.5 inches of Sandstone. I love the moss covering the top and would be amazing used in any landscape. I am half tempted to buy and hoard it until I have a design to use it, or honestly my house. (here)


15 Fresh Greens for Holiday Decorating

Advice, C O N T A I N E R S, container, decorating, Get the Look, Holiday, Uncategorized

The week after Thanksgiving is a rush to get our clients homes decorated for the holiday season. Even though the week is busy, we look forward to flexing our festive creative muscles. I shared photos of a few projects on instagram throughout the week (NickMccland),if you want a preview. There were questions about the types of greens we used and thought I would share a list of all the different types of fresh greenery we use as a info graphic for quick reference. These are the greens that work well in Ohio’s December climate or we use only indoor (such as pepperberry). There are infinite combinations you could make with these greens, highlighted with ribbon, ornaments, pinecones and branches.


15 Fresh Greens for Holiday Decorating Containers, Wreaths or Garlands from Thinking Outside the boxwood



One of our favorite tricks is using a variety of these fresh greens tucked in a standard Frasier Fir wreath or graland. The fir provides a dense base for tucking in other greens for distinctive texture and color. You can purchase greens from florists or take clippings from your own backyard. The dense fir wreath will hold the green’s branches with in the existing wiring, or use paddle wire to secure to the frame. This trick provides you with a nice fresh wreath, that is unique to only your home without the custom made cost or time.





How to Wrap a Tree in Lights

decorating, Holiday

I am glad I warned it was going to be a busy week, because this is the first time I have been able to get on the computer all week and still don’t have much to share. We have been busy decorating client’s homes, gutting our design office for a redesign and sourcing special items for clients. Which means next week I will have a lot to share, but today I am a bit behind.

In the mean time has anyone else seen the tree on the cover of the December Martha Stewart? Amazing! See below for how to get the look:

Tricks to get the same look:

  • Use different sized bulbs – C9, C6, and minis. This gives the different clusters of light. 
  • Wrap the major branches- go out then back down. This will help give the tree structure. After the major branches, do the smaller ones. 
  • Use lots of lights – think like 5,000 lights (yes that many). However covering one tree will make a great impact compared to a few strains across multiple trees. Those trees you admire in public spaces can have up to 10,000 lights on them. 
  • Use LEDs – they are more expensive up front, however cost lots less to run and will not pop the breaker each time you turn the lights on.  
A qualifier on the LED lights. They now make LED lights that have the same warm glow as the traditional white twinkle lights, not the strange blue light. I don’t know if these are available yet on the market to the public, but we have a commercial supplier we have been using on all our clients this year. Next week I will share photos so you can see the difference and judge for yourself. If you are interested in changing to LED lights, call your local landscape company and ask. Odd’s are they will be able to supply you the commercial grade lights.
I hope everyone has a great weekend. We are planning on decorating at home this weekend. Also I will have a few client projects to share too!