Pot Party on the Left Bank

August 18, 2012

To celebrate the conclusion of my latest project, I’m having a Pot Party.  Oh not that kind of Pot Party, the kind where you bring a Pot and take a Pot…  My friends will bring a Potted Plant from their garden and I’ll send them home with a Potted Plant from my garden!  Or maybe they’ll choose to take home a Pot of river rocks.  Or a little garden ornament in a Pot.  All legal stuff, you get the idea!

It’s taken me all summer to re-terrace my very first terraced bank.  I call this my ‘Left Bank’ because it’s on the left side of my garden if you’re looking out from my front deck.  If you look closely at the photo above, you can see that rocks were falling down and weeds had taken over some areas.  I started removing plants a year and a half ago, knowing this task had to be done.  As my pretties bloomed, I moved them to a nicer location and eventually I had all most of the plants cleared out of my way.

Mid June I started at the base, pulling out all the anchor rocks.  I missed removing a few plants, so worked around them while they bloomed; then moved them out of my way and dug out all the grass and weeds.

  I used the largest rocks I could find to re-establish the base level, also moving it forward a bit.  About thirty feet of big rocks.  Under the hot sun.  Mostly just 2 to 3 hours each morning was all I could take.

With all of ‘Row One’ complete, I began ‘Row Two’, again pulling out the rocks to begin with and trying to not trample the few remaining plants.  I didn’t want to move them until I knew where I wanted to place them.

Towards the end of July, ‘Row Two’ was almost complete, but I was running out of big rocks.  I began Row Three as a diversion because pulling out rocks was easier than finding ‘the right rocks’ to fit the end of Row Two.  It was a giant rock puzzle.

Excavating by hand was particularly grueling under July’s hot sun.  I finally remembered the trick:  soak the soil the night before and it was much easier to dig out.

I was running out of large rocks, but on the garden tour I went on a few weeks ago, I met Donna, who was willing to give me lava rock, one of my favorites!

Row three now well underway, I’m once again having to get creative about using rock.  I scavenge other parts of my garden, trading smaller rocks there for larger ones here.  I stack flat river rocks and incorporate some of my cement sculptures.

Row Three finally complete, I felt compelled to celebrate by planting a beautiful red hibiscus as an anchor plant.  I know I should wait, I still have the last row on top to finish.  But….. to have my Pot Party while the weather is nice, I’m putting the last row off until fall so I don’t have to move all those plants that I’d left in place.

I should have thought about stairs sooner, but originally didn’t think I needed them.

Tonight I’ll contemplate what to do about those stairs and more importantly what I’m going to plant!  Thanks for stopping by.

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You Rock my World

February 4, 2010

Yes, YOU rock my world!  In return I give you Pink Quartz, the rock of love.  When I brought this 85 pound symbol of love home to my garden my husband couldn’t believe I’d actually PAID for a rock!  Yep, I did!!  It was in February, I needed a lift and thought it a perfect Valentine’s gift.

As winter settles in, a blanket of snow usually covers my garden for months.  Not so this year!  We’ve had waves of snowfall then warm snow-melting temperatures, which means my garden is mostly brown with brief bouts of white blanket.  Without the snow I can see all the rocks in my garden, those I’ve dug up and those I’ve collected.  Yes, I collect rocks right along with plants for my garden.

If you’ve read some of my beginning blog posts you know my garden was hard earned via digging a lot of rocks out of the ground before anything could be planted.  Those rocks came in handy for many landscaping projects.

One of my spring projects will be renovating this terraced bed.  Now that I have a little more experience I can rebuild it much better than my original effort.  All last season as plants emerged I scooped them out so I wouldn’t lose any when I begin renovations.

I’ve always loved and collected rocks.  As kids, my cousins and I would walk the back alleys of our little town, picking up ‘pretty rocks’ that were white and sparkly from the gravel that was used in alleys back then.  I still pick up white sparkly rocks wherever I find them.

A friend gave me obsidian…. a truckload of it.  His dad was a rock hound and he has tons.

I use it to line paths, but it doesn’t show up as vividly as beach rocks do.

Another friend gave me rocks he collected for a patio.  After I built my patio I had enough leftover to build a small bench.  There’s still more waiting on inspiration for another project.

Yet another friend gave me river rocks when the floods of ’96 ravaged his part of Mosier Creek.  Rocks flew out of the rampaging creek, completely covering his property.  A few of his friends hauled out truckloads for our gardens.

I’ve received gifts of rocks and I’ve given gifts of rocks.  I love rock stores where you can buy shiny, smooth, colorful rocks.  I’ve given my grandson and nephew rock tumblers!

I have buckets of rocks waiting for homes.  Do you collect rocks?  Have a favorite?  Do share!

Thanks for stopping by, I truly appreciate your visits to my garden.  Especially this time of year when there’s not so much to see.  Until next time……

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