Craftsmanship in stone
Natural stone patios, like walls, come in two varieties; dry ( no mortar) and "wet" or mortared. We've built hundreds of them. They function differently in the landscape, with a dry laid patio being more informal or rustic and a mortared patio being more finished , stable, possibly sophisticated, with more design variety being available because of the permanence and structure that a concrete base allows. A few examples of the two kinds are shown below.
#1- A good one to start with because it is half & half ,dry and mortared. The raised platform is on a concrete base and the patio itself is laid dry. There's a good closeup showing a comparison of the two. The joints in the dry patio are filled with "stone dust", in this case. The joints in a dry patio can be a problem . They must be filled with a granular material ( not mortar)and most of those have limitations of some kind. Stone dust has a habit of climbing out of the joints onto the surface of the stones. My own preference is to fill them with earth and let the grass grow.You just have to mow the patio once in a while.
#2- These pictures of a mortared patio were taken about two years after it was built.They show two different colours of stone that come from the Owen Sound area. The paler stones, called buff, have faded alot since they were installed. The others ,called black, are still quite dark. Five years later, the black will have also faded significantly.
#3- (Below) This patio was done by Summerstone in 2009. Designed completely by the client including the interesting details , and they supplied the stone. George B. did 95% of the very careful stonework on this job.
#4-- Built in 2007, this is an unusual , goemetrically shaped, square-cut flagstone patio. Westboro area.