Bluestone for Bonnie

January 20, 2022by Monica Perrone

“You are so talented.  I’m blessed to have you in my gardens.”  — Bonnie, February 15, 2017 

Bonnie contacted me many years ago as she was embarking on a thoughtful remodel of a .75-acre 1940’s ranch property in rural Stanislaus County.  The interior developed with grace and style.  I designed fresh exterior spaces with new fences, pedestrian and vehicle gates, columns, steel structures, concrete, gravel, lawn areas, significant trees, and plantings.  I had edited the hardscape as well as the mature existing plants down to a few stately evergreens and one glorious fruiting Fig tree.  Time passed and the only element left undone was the front step within the entry courtyard.  We had opted to retain the original and we weren’t sure how we’d work with it.  A new light-etch concrete walk ran up to it and this landing got you to beautiful new doors within an entry courtyard.  Originally topped in bright green Astroturf, this two-step element was stripped bare down to its glue remnants and left alone for a few years.  I had brought out samples of natural stone and ceramic tiles and nothing seemed quite right so we waited a couple more years. 

Meanwhile, I had completed designs for Bonnie’s San Francisco home.  She has a narrow backyard space at the edge of the Presidio that we solved with a beautiful ashlar-pattern in full-range Bluestone.  Bonnie loved this new, petite garden space so much that we began to imagine Bluestone for her Modesto home’s entry.  I revisited the site for photos, measurements, and additional consideration.  I drew up plans for a staggered running bond pattern in rectangular “blue” Bluestone with contemporary detailing.  This subtle, restrained, silvery-blue palette (vs. full-range, brown, tan, rust, green, or lilac) with a consistent sawn thermal finish was appropriate as compliment to this site and the home’s era.  It’s perfect!  Bonnie is enamored with Bluestone and we have designed a charming farmhouse for her with bluestone steps and walks.  Bluestone is a versatile, natural stone that can add beauty and timelessness to almost any setting.

A steel pergola for the backyard with Light Etch natural gray concrete floor.

“You’re like an old friend to me.  Your sensibilities are appreciated and admired.”  – Bonnie, January 13, 2022

Design work has begun on the renovation of her five-acre Sonoma farmstead. Maybe I’ll incorporate bluestone here too?

Monica Perrone

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Monica Perrone is a Professional Landscape Architect with over thirty years in her industry. She has lived and worked in various regions of the United States with diverse experience including urban planning, landscape contracting, and event design.


With excerpts from Gardens Are for People by Thomas D. Church.

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