For a grand backyard or garden with a dash of English garden elegance thrown in, consider using stone columns in your outdoor decorating and landscaping arsenal for a beautiful effect. Originally used for outdoor design in ancient, Hellenistic Greece and the Mediterranean area, stone columns were used for practical purposes: They held roofs up. Because the detail and grandeur were so inspiring, columns began to be placed without a roof in outdoor verandas and social gathering places as ornamental motifs. The practice of using stone columns started to dissipate after the fall of the Roman Empire, however, when architects of the Middle Ages favored more practical supportive building techniques. Stone columns found their way back into common usage again, however, during the emergence of the "English garden" as a popular landscaping philosophy during the 1700s. Stone columns were used to evoke a simpler, romantic time, and were used either on their own or in the design of classically-inspired gazebos.
If you appreciate the classical styling they can bring, you might want to consider adding stone columns to your outdoor spaces. If you have a large patio, place several large stone columns around the perimeter. Not only will this create the illusion of a closed off area without the use of a gate, but the columns can be used to support lights, drapery or banners and streamers during special events.
Stone columns make great additions to gardens simply on their own, as well. Place a small stone column in the midst of a verdant corner of your garden where vines grow, to encourage vine growth on and around the column, or place one near a bed of flowers to offer up an element of ornamental contrast. Stone columns are available in a variety of designs and materials, and can even be used to support lanterns and lamps, among other practical purposes.