Visiting an architectural salvage yard is among my favourite things to do — old windows, porcelain claw-foot bathtubs from a bygone age and classic textiles that can be repurposed in creative ways are simply some of the things that catch my eye. When I navigate through antique emporiums or yard sales, I also search for interesting pieces that can be added to the landscape, like a one-of-a-kind sculpture that could make an interesting focus at the end of a course, or a iron fragment from an old gate that may decorate an enclosed courtyard.

But among my favourite salvage items is a millstone, because I love designing around a round theme. It is irrelevant whether your garden is large or small; a correctly manicured stone can become the center of your design and can stand alone as an artistic component that celebrates the past in a fresh new way.

1. Create an herb spiral. These large grinding stones are part of the Western Reserve Herb Society’s beautiful Herb Garden at the Cleveland Botanical Garden. I adore the way the granite discs have been utilized to make a knot garden with interwoven threads of rugged medicinals like blossom lavender and artemesia.

Sun-loving lavender cotton (Santolina chamaecyparissus), dusty miller, thyme, oregano and dianthus are just some of the plants that could be added to some circular scheme around a millstone, and very low mounding boxwood can be utilized to form the traces of a coil or knot routine.

2. Construct a round patio. Together with the rock as the center, place other stones at a concentric pattern to make an unusual patio or garden room. Benefit from textures and patterns in the rock by planting creeping herbs that draw the eye.

Lemon thyme and tricolor sage (Salvia officianalis ‘Tricolor’) would look great planted at the center of the disc.

3. Create a focal point. A millstone with actual character can stand on its own. From a distance it will draw on the eye, and when it’s sufficient dimension, it can grow to be a chair or gathering place.

Paintbox Garden

The routine details can motivate you to make the framework of this backyard more curvilinear, more organic or free-flowing. Repeat the round element by experimentation with cement or stone balls onto the lawn or floor, or use around stepping stones for linking pathways.

Mile High Landscaping

4. Add a fountain component. Adding a bubbling fountain to a garden produces a spa-like atmosphere that soothes the soul and infuses the distance with tranquility. If something like this is in your wish list for next year, then consider using a bubbler made from a millstone.

Gardens by Gabriel, Inc..

A round bubbler looks right at home in a bed that is artfully curved and implanted with textural grasses. For smaller enclosures designed for entertaining, a millstone fountain can set the stage for relaxed, intimate parties.

Paintbox Garden

5. Decorate pathways. Geometric backyard rooms that have gravel as a base material seem even more beautiful if round mill stones are added for visual contrast. The circular contours are playful and can make an official feeling less imposing or not as boxed in.

More: Reinvent It: Salvaged Pieces Frame a Parisian-Style Pergola

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