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More Rocks In The Landscape

With an abundance of rocks, both large and small, available to me free in a lot near us I have become quite addicted to adding rocks in my landscape. I have used rocks as edging between the beds and grass, as borders between walkways and wilder areas, as focal points and even built a huge rock wall. For more on my wall see Building a Rock Wall.

I have come to realize that rock adds texture and depth to my landscape, helping me divide key areas or giving me someplace to focus a planting scheme.

This morning I collected a few more rocks to place as a border to contain some very aggressive staghorn sumac. This will allow me to better define the mulch pathway through the wooded area.

RockSumac

Early this summer, a few smaller rocks were used to create an neat edge between a garden bed and the lawn. This edge was built up a bit high because the water often accumulated in this area making lawn maintenance a little difficult. A planting a purple petunias softens the edges. Mowing is easy as I made sure to place the small rocks close to the lawn at just below cutting height.
This morning I collected a few more rocks to place as a border to contain some very aggressive staghorn sumac. This will allow me to better define the mulch pathway through the wooded area.

RockEdge

Most rocks look a bit nicer set slightly into the ground however I have found that it is not really necessary to dig them in as mother nature will do the job for your during the winter. I do move any mulch from under the rocks as that will help sink them slightly into the ground for a more natural look.

So next time you have a chance to get some free rocks, go for it, you just never know what you might do with them.

2 Responses

  1. pixelpainter
    | Reply

    Wow, I really appreciate the work in your fieldstone fence. I spent all of yesterday trying to do the very same thing and it ended up being a Wailing Wall. It literally reduced me to tears. I have about three-quarters ton of Three Rivers stone that I want to use for a freestanding garden wall, about 7ft long and no more than 2 feet high. I had a great start — set up my posts, ran the string, dug the perfect trench, placed mostly larger stones at the bottom starting about 8-10 inches below the ground, etc. Then came stacking the stones and trying to place the flatest sides to the outside and trying to make both sides looks nice. Well, I stacked and restacked the stones and they never looked like more than a longish pile of rocks. It was no easy feat — I weigh 114 myself and the rocks were really heavy. I spent easily 6 hours stacking and restacking them and then I cracked. :-O At the rockery I tried to find square-ish looking rocks but while stacking them, it seemed I was always looking for one with a point or a triangular part to fit into some open hole area. I have now decided that I will have to use mortar. Maybe then I can get the rocks the way I want them and keep them straight and together. So, my question is, did you use mortar? I didn’t see where you mentioned it. If you built that entire wall without mortar then I bow down to you, mere mortal that I am. Wow. Your wall looks so straight and flat-ish on both sides and flat-ish on the top. Unbelievable.

  2. everchanging gardener
    | Reply

    Oh yes, I think I cried over my wall a couple times. Or at the very least over some smashed fingers a few times! I did not use mortar anywhere. You mentioned that your are using Three Rivers stone. How large are most of the stones? Mine varied in size from I’d say 18 inches by 18 inches to perhaps 6 inches by 6 inches. Those were the rocks I used on the bottom and outsides. The inside of each wall is filled with whatever junk rock I had to make a dense interior. I also didn’t worry about cracks and holes. It really is not as flat looking as you think. Once the whole wall is done it really does blend in nicely especially if you vary the stone sizes. However I will admit I did tear down a short section or two until I got it ‘right’. The advantage of mortar is it will give you a more formal look. The disadvantage is if it starts to fall down you have a harder mess to fix. Every spring I have to go and rebuild sections of my wall because the deer climb right on top over the winter. I’d hate to see the mess I would have if I had used mortar. Now it is an easy half day job to patch it up (although somehow I always have to go find an extra rock or two to make it look right!).
    Have fun building your wall!

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