Sunday, October 25, 2009

Rock and Roll

In the back yard this spring, I dug two large rocks out of the ground. I don't know why I did it. It seemed like the right thing to do at the time. For a while, they sat next to the hole they came out of. At some point during the summer, I moved them to the edge of the "lawn" to make mowing easier. The lavender crape myrtle lived there for a couple of months. The hole has been filled in with dirt. Red clover has germinated well there.

This morning, I decided to move those two rocks to the perennial bed. I couldn't have chosen a home any further away without putting them in the street. I used the hand truck and a lot of cussing to get them where I wanted them.



I actually moved three large stones, but one I was able to lift and place on the hand truck. They now reside along the new path I built a couple weeks ago around the back edge of the perennial bed. I probably destroyed the new grass seedlings. It won't be long before clover takes over anyway.

Consistency in design is something I have been taught by my instructors when I was in college. In architecture, consistency is necessary to help people understand movement, form, and texture. It can also be used to define spaces. Private and public spaces can be differentiated using different materials, lighting, or even color. So in my beds, I want some sort of consistency as well. All the tended beds will eventually have stone edging as I find it and place it. Along the edge of the former white bed, now known as the neighbor's corner, I picked up all the stone and finished the perennial bed as well as a good chunk of the gully bed. I'll explain later what I did this morning in the neighbor's corner and why I no longer need stone edging there.

Wheelbarrow #1

Wheelbarrow #2

Wheelbarrow #3 and done.

When I started, there was only about 6' of edging in place. This stone was dug from planting holes all around the yard.

From the upper yard behind the house, you can see the stone I laid around the edge of the gully bed.

Just about where the stone ends now, I transplanted the White Profusion butterfly bush from the neighbor's corner.

I also planted 4 purple Speedwell plants that I got for 50 cents each. The purple should go well with the echinacea and Icicle speedwell already there. Lots of baby echinacea from scattered seeds were seen.

As suggested, I made lots of changes to the neighbor's corner this morning. I won't go into detail now, but there are lots of shrubs there now including five Howardi Ligustrum (evergreen), two loropetalum, several rose of sharon seedlings, a couple of azaleas, two dwarf burning bush, and a couple snowball viburnum cuttings that I rooted months ago. It should provide color, interest, and privacy as it grows together. The only plants I purchased were three clearance ligustrums. I got them for less than $12 for all three. Woot!

I plan to let this corner become semi-wild again. When I cleared it out, I envisioned a beautiful corner with lots of white flowers and flowering shrubs. It hasn't turned out that way. It's too hot and dry in the summer for most perennials and the annuals I wanted there. I still lack privacy in the backyard from prying eyes, and a patio will be built somewhere someday. These shrubs and trees will be mulched with leaves. I'll allow the vinca minor to regrow, and let it spill softly into the edge of the yard where the lawnmower can keep it in check. Naturalized planting areas in the yard won't have stone edging. Only tended beds will need that treatment, cutting down on the amount of stone I'll need for the borders.

This afternoon, now that lunch is done, I plan to move a lot of the split firewood into the basement to continue drying.

It's 57 degrees, cloudy and cool. The wind has died down for the time being. No sign of the promised sunlight I was hoping for today.


Jeff Vandiver said...

Dang....those rocks would be a day's work all by themselves. You sure do like to change things around in the landscape. I bet it will look great when finished, though...

Nell Jean said...

Rocks Roll. I never lift a stone onto a hand truck. If it will ride there, I roll it. If it's too big to budge, I have to ask for help.

Do be careful of your back. You only get one spine and they are fragile, even young, strong ones.

Watch out for critters in the firewood.

I sound like somebody's grandmother, don't I?

Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

EG, I have to be doing something and when a plan fails, I create a new one.

Nell, my back is why I was using that hand truck. I was straining more to roll the rocks than I was to get them on and lever it backwards. Pulling it was all leg work. No critters to speak of in the firewood yet. Still watching for snakes and things that slither.

L. D. said...

Those rocks were very disgusting, I am sure. I can see that they didn't want to stay on the hand truck, let alone I bet getting them onto the truck was difficult. Things look good there yet as you move into a fall season. Natural planting is great but my weeds would end up being the most natural. I like to use invasive plants that look good and blot out the weeds. Keep up the good work.

Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

LD, Rose of Sharon here can overtake a bed in no time. So can ligustrum thanks to all the seeds they produce. I'm hoping to keep them hedged once a year as they fill in. I'll just take a little off the top and sides.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Those rocks sure are pretty! I think your idea of where to use them is good. I'm sorry what you wanted to do on the corner didn't work out.

Anonymous said...

I have a HUGE case of rock envy! Since there is only sand on my 5 acres I have to beg relatives to bring rock donations from their property when they come to visit. Yours are much prettier.

Linda in SC

Unknown said...

we will be doing the same thing with rocks in the next couple of weeks...:) lots and lots of work, but it looks great! i love watching your garden evolve..:)