Because slate provides a perfect contrast to a green lawn, colorful plants and well manicured shrubs, it's the ideal choice for creating a border in your landscape. Rugged, durable slate can be purchased in a range of colors, including green, gray, black, brown, purple and red. This fine-grained stone usually comes as either pavers or flagstones. Before you decide on the slate you want to use, take into account the location where you want it placed in the landscape as well as the effect you want to achieve, whether it's a rugged appearance or something carefully manicured and sophisticated.

What You Will Need

  • Measuring Tape

  • Shovel

  • Gravel or Sand

Step 1. Go out in your yard and visually evaluate your landscape to decide which areas or beds will most benefit by having a slate stone border. In part, this decision will depend on whether you want to add beauty and curb appeal to your home by installing a slate stone border in your front yard, or whether you would like to add it to your backyard so your family can enjoy it. A third alternative is to use it to provide a border for all of your flowerbeds in order to create a uniform appearance in your landscape.

Step 2. Decide whether you want a slate stone border that presents a more natural appearance, or whether you want something more formal. For a rustic style home, you'll want flagstones that create a craggy, cropped look. For something formal and modern, your design should incorporate uniformly sized square or rectangular pavers.

Step 3. Decide what shape you want your landscaping border to be, since this determines (to a large extent) how difficult the project will be. A border in a straight line is much easier to layout and dig (especially if you will be using pavers). Alternatively, you might prefer a sweeping, curved border that creates a flowing appearance that will blend well with a natural setting.

Step 4. Use a measuring tape to measure the width and length of the border in order to calculate how many pavers will be required. This is a simple calculation of multiplying the width by the length and dividing that by the size of the flagstones or pavers to arrive at how many you'll need.

Step 5. Use a shovel to add either fine gravel or sand in the area where you plan to place your slate. This will give you a surface the slate can settle into, while still allowing you to adjust the position of the slate in order to achieve a uniform height and appearance.

Contact a company like Glynn Young's Landscaping & Nursery Center for additional information.