Before I start this post, I want to remind you that we rent this house. And I'm not sure why I'm so in love with squares and straight lines, but there's hardly a curve to been seen in my garden.
This month on Gardening Gone Wild the Garden Blogger's Design Workshop topic is "Stone in the Garden." I live in New England and as anyone who gardens in New England knows, our bumper crop is stone. Strangely, most of the stone in my garden was imported, but maybe that's because I do most of my gardening in containers. Actually stone got me started on this gardening adventure. You can read more about that in my very first post here. The walkway that started it all:
I have no idea why that huge slab of bluestone is where it is, but since we couldn't move it if we wanted to, there it will sit. The beautiful rocks covering the bottom of the ugly concrete stairs were found all around the yard. Our across the street neighbor's retaining wall is completely made of these stones too:
A view of the perennial shade garden from the ugly concrete steps. There are 5 large stones between the plants in this garden because I thought they were beautiful. Some are flat on the ground, some are standing up on end like monoliths. The river of rocks on the right is to keep the hillside from washing onto the sidewalk. It runs the length of the sidewalk and the concrete patio and so far it's working:
More of the river of rocks and the large stone where the IPOD Bose player sits when we're hanging out on the patio:
If you were to look up to the right here you would see the rhododendron/hosta bed surrounded with rocks that we found as we cleaned up the garden and started digging holes to plant. I used large stones in front and smaller ones in back:
Now I know this post is supposed to be about natural stone, but even though the retaining wall is made of formed concrete blocks, I really like it. Most of the stones in the perennial shade garden used to be in a first stab at a retaining wall in the same spot, but the concrete block just works so much better for such an extreme grade change. Plus we don't have gutters on the house (more on that later), so there's often a river running down the mulch towards the wildflower patch:
On the other side of the wildflower patch I used some of the blue river rocks to create a border between the grass and patch. You can also see the stone circle holding the mulch around the hydrangea (all of these were found as VPH dug holes to plant last year):
The opposite view reveals my solution to the house not having gutters. All the water runs off the roof onto the row of river pebbles I put down. Amazingly, this actually works pretty well. And look how happy the sunflowers are:
We used to spend a lot of time walking from the little shed to the patio, so we put down a path of bluestones. The fifth stone down is a large flat stone that VPH dug up from somewhere in the yard and moved to here. The huge bluestone serving as a lintel for the shed was purchased and put down without sand under it which explains why it is now in 4 pieces -- my fault, not VPH's:
The path from the concrete patio to the pea gravel patio looks like stone. But it's not! It's plastic stepping stones. They were so easy, we just placed them over what grass there was and they stay put because they have a plastic grid underneath to grab the ground. VPH mows right over them. I did poke a little hole in one wearing spiky heels, but I don't think anyone else has noticed. When they wear out we will replace them with more bluestone:
These huge slabs of bluestone used to separate an asphalt parking space in front from the 2 dirt parking spaces. Now they make a nice transition point from driveway to garden. Note the 2 pieces of blue stone in front of the shower. They feel really nice under bare feet instead of gravel:
The gravel in the area next to the house is so much nicer than the dirt we used to have here. Almost time for that greenhouse to go to the basement:
And last we have our strange front steps. The bluestone slabs are beautiful, but they're propped up on cinder blocks and they're not even close to level:
I'd like to fix this, but remember we don't own this property and I'm not sure what we could use instead of cinder blocks to hold these up. I'm not even sure we could move the stone to try to level it!
Do you have a lot of stone in your garden?