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