|chilton limestone walk-front yard.|
I love things made from natural stone. There's really no substitute for it and no short cuts to take when building with it. It's a masochist's medium. Even building something relatively small with with stone leaves you with a backache and bloody hands. But it's worth it.
To me it feels like dry-laid natural stone is to hardscape what permaculture is to softscape, or the planted world. It's a human intervention in the landscape, but one that uses a product of nature, with minimal fabrication. And the material is re-usable if the maker decides to unmake and create another thing with the same material. Working with natural stone also pretty much guarantees you won't be using machines since cutting it isn't really practical, at least not often, and the uniqueness of each piece makes placing it with machinery difficult. So you're doing a lot of lifting, then looking, contemplating, and re-lifting. It's exhausting and also a little bit zen.