Hey! Some of you have dropped by Cascading Creations looking for basalt. We use it in landscaping and hardscaping projects. We sell basalt for landscaping, too, just in case you'd like to lug heavy rocks around by yourself (hint: It's easy for us because we use machines - you can hire us to use them and save your backs . . .). Basalt is a great material that's tough, durable and comes in a variety of colors, shapes and textures. We have it in girly pink, manly gray basalt and more. (Don't worry - we'll never judge you based on your personal basalt choices!)
Basalt has so much variation because it's volcanic rock. Deep beneath the earth, lava is churning and moving, creating the very stones you will eventually put your beer on during a summer cookout. Its characteristics come from how it was formed, from the melted minerals its composed of to the way the earth ejected it. Basalt formations take all kinds of interesting shapes, from Ireland's Giant's Causeway to the nifty rocks we sell in our landscaping materials yard.
Basalt can come in rough or smooth textures, and often features hundreds of hollow chambers, making it lighter than it looks (though naturally it's still rock, not styrofoam). Rough basalt gives moss plenty of traction. That's what allows us to sell mossy rock right from the yard. It's a great way to make your landscape look nicely aged and natural, even when it's brand new.
It's a great material for hardscapes, too. It's a nice, contrasting natural-shaped rock to offset the regular geometry of brick or tile. Thanks to its variety, you can usually find basalt to match your brickwork without too much trouble.
Basalt has always been a popular material, so the one thing we can't claim is originality - people have used it to build stuff for thousands of years. It was good enough for ancient fortresses and even entire cities, so it'll probably do a decent job of giving your friends a spot to park their butts in your backyard. Give it a try!