The bloggers over at Gardening Gone Wild sponsor a monthly design workshop. I have not participated before, but since this is a type of post which is useful and which I would do anyhow, I thought I would get on board with this month's workshop.
This month's subject is "Stone in the Garden". I have already posted on making my home a part of the garden by adding this manufactured stone. It has been six months now and Mr. Fix-it and I couldn't be happier with the results. That's him hanging out in the driveway. The manufactured or faux stone has held up wonderfully and seems to insulate the house better. It is not real stone but has more advantages. The most being the cost and weight of it. The cost is generally lower than that for real stone, and the faux stone weighs less than real stone. Both benefits. I can't see any disadvantages of using faux stone. It can be custom made to order and is readily available.
The above two pictures are the two long sides of the same garden. The picture on the left is the east side, and the picture on the right is the west side and closest to the house. I call this my 'Center Front Garden' and it is the main part of my front yard. The below picture is the north end of the same garden. You can't see it, but the 'Road Shrub Border' is to the left of the garden on the east side and can be found in Making the Road Disappear.
This is the second season for this garden. Since this post is not about the gardens though, I will stick to the 'stone'. This stone is broken concrete. I know, it sounds kind of tacky but it was free! And it really works. It has been described as more like blocks of granite, but regardless of its looks, it serves a functional purpose.
The below picture looking south from the north, shows the low end. When we moved the split rail fence we had a lot of broken concrete from the poles. For lack of a better place (meaning landfill) I stacked the rounded concrete blocks on this garden end. I like the stacked look, and especially like the lambs ear growing in and around the new blocks of concrete. Works for me.
Lest you get worried that I don't have any real stone in my garden, I need to post at least one picture of some 'real' stone. I gathered this limestone from a fellow Freecycler last summer. It is great stone and is pictured below. I believe it is cut limestone? Though I am not an expert on stone, it may be something else.
Last year's freeze and drought caused three large white azaleas in this garden to die. The azaleas were planted just above this stone wall, but the wall wasn't there at the time. I never could reconcile myself to the slope of the soil in this 'Driveway Garden', and felt a bit unsettled even before the azaleas died. Once they died and were removed, I took the opportunity to add this short stone wall (isn't the timing just perfect) to level the soil. I then added three seedling oak leaf hydrangeas, hostas, sedum and lamb's ear. There is also an epimedium, alyssum and liriope in this area of the garden. This garden does get sun in the afternoon since it faces west, but is located under a large oak tree; which is to the left of the viewer.
I can see this garden from my office and am looking for really good things from it. The stone wall adds so much to it already and once the drapers (alyssum and lambs ears) begin draping, it will be even nicer. I had to leave a lower part of the garden flat since we back our cars up there and would likely run over the stones if I had not. The 'Powis Castle' artemesia on the low part in the back doesn't mind being run over. The ornamental stones on the lower part serve to stabilize the ground for our tires.
I recently changed another part of the 'Driveway Garden'. Above are before and after pictures. I must say a hearty thanks to my daughter Lizzy, she is building a house in Kentucky and was privy to a bunch of stone the developer says to "Take all you want". I am loading Mr. Fix-it's truck and trailer to its max as much as I am able with all this free stone. The stone is a lovely yellowish color; which is characteristic of most stone in Kentucky. It has neat little fossils in it, as shown in the picture below. I think it is a limestone? Maybe someone else who is better with stone can enlighten me. I just don't know what kind of stone it is, but it is stone.
The garden has changed a slight bit. I removed a ton a Perennial sunflowers, Helianthus 'Maximilian' from this garden, added the stones and built up the soil a bit. I now feel like it is has a more finished look and I am slowly refining it. Gardens as we all know, are works in process. I gave some of the perennial sunflowers to Frances and I hope she enjoys them. The rest may go to the Master Gardener sale on June 21st. We'll see how they look as it gets closer to the time.
Stone in the garden is very useful because the bees can't drill into it, the termites don't eat it, and the little lizards and toads all seem to love it. Almost as much as I do!
in the garden....