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Choosing the Best Material for Landscaping Monuments and Features

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Landscaping monuments can include retaining walls, garden borders and edges, and signs that mark off your property or designate the entry to a business. Custom monuments can also be added for decoration; this might include a statue, such as in the shape of a lion, or a memorial sign for a lost friend or relative. When you're ready to shop for any type of monument for your landscaping, note a few tips for choosing the best material so you know your new retaining wall or other structure will last.


Bronze holds up very well against the elements, which is why it's often chosen for signage at outdoor attractions. If you're choosing a landscaping monument with lettering of any sort, you may want to opt for a bronze carving so that it stays in good condition for many years. Note, however, that bronze does eventually need some touch-up, as the metal will fade and will then need to be buffed and oiled or otherwise repaired over time.


Stone monuments usually hold up very well against the elements, as stone is a natural substance that is meant to stay strong against wind, rain, snow, and the like; however, a stone monument will eventually fade and lose its shape over time, so don't assume that a stone monument will never need maintenance. Because it's so dense and heavy, stone might be more expensive to carve; consider your long-term costs for having any faded stone monument touched up by a stone carver. This is especially important if you're adding lettering or any other exact patterns and shapes carved into stone, as you may need them retouched more often in order to keep them legible and to retain their shape.


Concrete is a very soft material that can be shaped and stamped into various patterns before it hardens; it can also be stained and painted so that it resembles stone or brick. Concrete may be a very inexpensive option, which is good if you're looking for a long rock border or a brick wall for your landscaping.

Any concrete face will fade over time, so you may need to have it restamped or stained again throughout the years. It may also eventually chip or crack, so you'll need to make consistent repairs to the surface. While concrete can be an affordable and flexible option for installation, make sure you note these long-term costs and the work needed to keep a concrete monument or other landscaping feature in good repair.