April 13, 2010

What are Gardeners to Rocks and Mountains?



This gardener is a committed plant-lover, but I confess to falling head-over-heels for boulders lately (my apologies to Jane Austen for misquoting her in the title - are you a fan, too?). The attraction isn't hard to figure out. In Spokane, most of my favorite plants are fair weather friends. But stones strut their stuff even in the coldest, stormiest weather. That's why I included a dozen boulders (plus all the flagstones) in the new front gardens.



The photo above shows my favorite - a basalt column. It will look better with plants billowing about, but I like it even now. I thanked my husband for buying me a big, pretty rock that I don't have to wear on my finger and that I won't have to worry about losing.



We bought the stones from Sunrise Ridge Rock, a local landscape rock company. My children and I had a grand time discovering the different types of stone at their rock yard. It was like a strange farm, with rows and rows of giant boulders growing instead of crops. We gathered a few bumps and scrapes before deciding to just look at the rock piles instead of trying to climb on them.



After a considerable amount of hemming and hawing, I picked the perfect boulders for our yard. I had brought samples of our stone facing to make sure they blended together. I found basalt with shades of grey, rose, plum, brown and orange.



Above is a shot of some adorable miniature daffodils ('Small Talk') and blue-violet chionodoxa with the stone facing on the house in the background. You can see how well the colors of the stone facing work with the colors of the boulder in the picture below. Bingo - finally a piece of the project that turned out just right.



I love these boulders in the sun or in the rain, and I bet they'll be lovely in the snow. Hopefully some of them will gather moss eventually (funny, the stones with moss or lichens already growing on them were three times as expensive at the rock yard). I've complained before about all the river rock that keeps coming out of my flower beds (apparently this area used to be a river bottom), but now I'll have some rocks to gush over.



So, are you in love, too?

18 comments:

  1. Hi VW,

    They do look wonderful, rocks aren't really something I've ever considered having in the garden... But these really are very nice, and I can imagine look stunning with moss or lichen on them, especially next to a pond!

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  2. I am envious, these are really lovely. I like rocks too, now I just need to decide where they could go! Your front garden is really taking shape and looking lovely.

    Best wishes Sylvia (England)

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  3. I like boulders too. Yours are lovely. The pillar is most interesting.
    When we had our foundation dug, and soon our septic, we were hoping for a big boulder. We are on a granite cap and some of the neighbors (about two) have some wonderful rocks in their yards...while right next door the neighbor has none.
    I agree there is a wonderful structure to having rocks/boulders in your garden.

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  4. You rock! Seriously, I like rocks as well. I convinced my son (an archaeologist, fortunately) to bring some up out of our woods and into my garden where there are no natural rocks.

    I do like the pillar boulder - very sculptural.

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  5. Yes I am! Such rich beautiful deep shades of all kinds of colors. What a guy you married to buy you a big rock you can't lose. I'm sure he appreciates it ever so much:)

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  6. Hi! I love rocks too. To grow your own moss, let a can or bottle of beer sit opened until it's flat, then pour it into a sprayer and squirt your rocks often, whenever you think of it, on the shady sides to start. You will be stunned to see what happens over time. Apparently it really sets the table for moss spores that are all around us all the time. Fun!

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  7. Oh I just love boulders too! I think they add so much texture to the garden and accentuate the shapes of the plants.

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  8. I love your use of rocks as pieces of art in your garden. That basalt column is stunning! -Jean

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  9. Hi VW~~ Yep. Everybody must get stones.... How's that for sort of misquoting...[dyslexic moment: At first glance I thought you wrote "mosquito-ing" as in getting bit by mosquitoes...then I thought, hmm... that's an interesting metaphor..."

    Kudos to Bob Dylan. This must have been what he meant by the song, don't you think? LOL Gardeners, are you listening to the wise words of Mr. Dylan?

    I'm a huge lover of stones, from tiny to large. Yours already look fabulous and will only get better as they settle in. It is interesting how the mossy ones were more pricey. Nothing like forking over big bucks for instant gratification.

    Methinks a tall Miscanthus or Calamagrostis [grass] would suit the pillar perfectly but obviously you've put a lot of thought into this design and I look forward to seeing your creativity take light.

    Are you getting sunshine? Hope so.

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  10. I have a friend who once told me to "spray" all my rocks before a garden tour. And now I see why! Those rocks of yours are GORGEOUS! I am a rock lover...I have an issue with collecting too many.
    Your baby daffodils are sweet!

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  11. VW, A well-placed stone can be like nature's own sculpture. Yours look particularly rich. If you have any of the seeds left over (from the "rock garden"), send them my way.

    After all, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a young-ish woman in possession of a good garden must be in want of a rock.

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  12. Absolutely! I love rocks. All sizes and shapes. They don't even have to be colorful... ;-) Happy Spring - things continue to be inviting over there!

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  13. I for one, love your new rocks! They are so interesting with those wonderful colors. I am working on a rock garden so make sure you have your rocks glued down or I may sneek over and borrow them, hee hee... The entire house renovations look really good. Me likes :-)

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  14. I better be with all the limestone we dig up...but i do love great big boulders and wish for more of them. Yours are so very different from our limestone...incredible textures and colors! gail

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  15. Hi VW, great rocks you got. I love rocks but generally get put off at the thought of having to move them to a place I like. And if (when) I change my mind as to their position, I risk my back! What I love about them is the way they do change but in such a different way of conceiving time. Hope you are enjoying the spring. Cheers, catmint

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  16. VW, Rock on! Super post, and the witty comments put you firmly in the category of blogs-to-read-for-the-comments-too.

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  17. I LOVE landscape rock! I almost always include it, both to show off the plants and as you've pointed out, because it's there even when the plants go to ground. Even though I include it in almost every design, whenever I don't, one of my contractors always asks "where's the landscape rock? Shouldn't we include landscape rock?"

    And I almost always do.

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  18. I'm wild about my stones. I paint them with sour milk and all kinds of interesting lichens and moss take hold.

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