Thursday, June 3, 2010

Rock Garden

By SkeeterHere is how a Rock Garden is created in my Georgia Gardens. We have drainage issue in our backyard. We have worked on solving them a little each year. We dug a trench along the back of the house and added Lava Rock soon after moving into the house. The Lava rock was fine for many years but over time, the porous holes of the rock began to grow moss. I did not like the mossy look beside our house, plus the moss could be an issue if our house is on the market For Sale.
This spring, we took out the lava rock and replaced the shallow ditch with River Rocks. This rock will allow for easier cleaning of caught debris thus less moss growing. That is my hope anyway. In time we will see if I am right. While taking out the lava rock one bucket at a time, the Saint helped me sift debris off the rock. I also took it one step further and took a wire brush to each piece of rock to remove the moss. Yep, crazy and time consuming I know but worth the effort in the end to reuse the rock elsewhere. This area of our yard has also been an issue for us with drainage or should I say lack of. We tried to grow grass with no luck as this area is too shaded by the canopy of trees. Over time we settled for making this a natural looking spot by putting pine straw in the area. We lost two trees to a freak ice storm and those trunks became support to Boston Ferns each year. The past few years, I have been slowly making this area a shade garden. Part One and Part Two of those can be seen by clicking the highlights to refresh your memory or play catch up...
One of the trunks rotted and could no longer support a Fern this spring. I chipped away at the stump and it crumbled away. The Saint removed the last of the ugly wood and made a clean cut for Mr. Frog to now call home. In this older picture, you can see Ivy growing out a hole of the stump.
This Ivy was taking root on the ground and I was able to save it from the hole in the stump and plant the main roots into the ground.
Here is yet one more Freebie from our neighbor which gave us many Lilies. A useless birdbath with a hole in the pot. He was going to toss it but I had a better idea for this birdbath.
This once, deep welled water supplier to the birds is now home to plants!
In this planter is Dahlia (I think) but not sure. Keeping her company is Blue Spruce Sedum and Begonia.
Isn't she a beauty?
The Lava Rock was added along with other larger rocks I have found here and there for free. By the fire pit, I have extended the pathway by adding more pea gravel type rocks. This Garden will some day connect to the Wishing Well Garden via a walking pea gravel path.
I divided Hosta and am keeping them in their pots while in the ground to deter the Vole from eating them. I also spray Liquid Fence in the area to deter the Deer from munching.
The last two remaining free Lilies were planted in this area also.
Here is one of those Lilies along with Creeping Jenny (the Saints request) and the Saints prized Elvis Hosta. Yes, the Saint picks out plants sometimes.
I now look into my backyard with a smile on my face due to my new Rock Garden!
I had so much fun creating this Garden this spring. Cleaning each dirty lava rock was back breaking but I knew it would be worth it in the end.
There is a lot of moss in this area during the wet season and I know in time the Lava will become a mossy mess That's okay as I am going for a natural look with this garden.
As you can see, I am forever adding new things to this garden. The bench, pots, etc.
Here is a bit of a Birdseye view of the Rock Garden.
I was disappointed that the Pea gravel has changed since last years refreshing of the gravel in the area. This years gravel has more white colors to it then natural browns. Once I find the browner color rocks, I will add a thin layer to blend in the colors better then you see here.
Here is one of the new pots I mentioned adding. This was a bargain find while in Tennessee visiting Tiger Gardens. I dropped by the Humane Society's Yard Sale and just had to have this Chamber Pot! I found two enamel Chamber pots and was thrilled. This one is full of Twisted Arrows Rush and Wolong Ghost Wintercreeper while the other one has Geranium. The Saint says I am really turning our Gardens into a Redneck yard. I think more a place of whimsy instead. What do you think, Redneck or Whimsy?
This is an idea I got from a store. I bought a clay pot for $1.50 and added this plastic frog I had in the garden shed. In the store they wanted $10.00 for pretty much this same creation. On the cheap and Bing, a cute addition to the Rock Garden.
My friend, Pedro now rest under the new Birdbath planter as the Coleous, Hosta, Spider and other plants grow around him.
Things planted last year are really working well in this Rock Garden.

In this picture, you can see how the shady Rock Garden will be attached to the sunny Wishing Well Garden. My mind holds a Foot Bridge and Dry Creek Bed in it for this attachment. Only time will tell what will bring these two gardens together. This pic was snapped before the banana tree was put into the ground. ha... I really am happy with my new ROCK GARDEN, in the Garden...

Bonus: Here is a surprise for me. Remember the planter in front of the white picket fence in the Semi-Formal Garden? I showed you in spring how the Voles ate all of the tulips bulbs. As I was digging around looking for bulbs, I cut into this Amaryllis bulb. It has only bloomed one time in 3 years since I put her in the ground. I took the bulb and put her in a pot this spring and look at her now!

I do not think this Amaryllis is the Hardy one that Tina talked about yesterday. But she is happy to be back in a pot again. I think I will keep her there...

These new gardens were created in a matter of a few weeks with lots of hard work. I had more envisions that never took place as I had to leave my Georgia Garden to be with my family in Tennessee for the clean up of the floods. We have knocked a lot of stuff off our Long "To Do" list but it is now time for me to once again go back to Tennessee. Spring is my favorite time to create with no humidity and cooler temps but my spring gardening was cut short this year. Family calls and they are most important. We have a family wedding to attend and then I will remain in TN until my next appointments in Georgia. No computer, thus no blogging for me. Please continue to keep my family and other flood victims in your prayers...
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team,In the Garden


  1. That's something cleaning those rocks one by one...I love your area out back and yes, that is a not redneck at all!

  2. Wow! What you all have done this year is wonderful! I love the vine and the way you have planned to connect the gardens.
    Wishing you and your family loads of luck.

  3. I WILL think of you & your family as you/they continue to dig out of the mess.

    I definitely vote WHIMSY (and if others call it REDNECK, then so be it.)

    You've created such interesting, unique and special spaces here. The only thing better would be seeing it in person.

  4. Love, love that birdbath!
    Have a safe trip..prayers for your family!

  5. Your gardens are looking wonderful Skeeter. You {& The Saint} have worked very hard to have such a pretty garden. One to be proud of.
    Our prayers will be with you all. Do be careful. You will be missed.

  6. It all looks great Skeeter! Nice use of the old birdbath too. Do you have a drainage pipe along your house underneath the stone?

  7. Things are looking good! And I can tell you (as I) like frogs. :) As someone who has dug out inches upon inches of lava rocks, I feel ya. NOT a fun task!

  8. Definitely whimsy. No rednecky stuff in the Saint's yard:) Your new rock garden looks great. Can't beat more and more gardens for joy. You have a safe trip up here and have fun. We'll miss you!

  9. Wow, a bit of a scare last night. We had a pop up storm roll through and lightening hit a huge oak tree by the house! It split the bark right off and destroyed the birdhouse on the tree! Good thing no birds had nested it this one....

    Rebecca, come on down, the welcome matt is always out...

    Dave, no as the foundation is in this area. The rock works for us though.

    Dentist today, cleaning and packing so gotta run...

    Everyone have a good day...

  10. Evertthing looks so good at your house Skeeter!!

    Have a safe and good trip!! They are all in my prayers.

  11. Good morning. I love your birdbath planter. Wish I would luck onto a find like that.

    Your gardens look so pretty. What a great idea to take that wet area and use it for plants that like moist soil. I always have to pass on plants that tolerate poor drainage because I have no areas here that stay moist.

  12. I love the re-purposing of that birdbath. Great idea and everything looks so tidy. You have reason to smile at that garden.

  13. That dahlia is very showy. Have a great day!

  14. I LOVE that chamber pot! I mean, what else are you going to do with it. Looks great! I also enjoy the look of the creeping jenny by the elvis hosta...they seem to compliment each other. : )

  15. Your garden is looking wonderful and I love all your creativity. I have a few frogs and turtles bought from the dollar store, I think I will use your idea of a pot on it's side to house a couple of the critters. Thanks.
    have a great weekend.

  16. Where do I start...
    First of all I love that your repurposed the tree stumps. Even though eventually they will go, you're getting a lot of visual interest from them while they last. Planting the leaking birdbath is awesome too. I'm not into frogs as much as you but yours sure are cute! And, that amaryllis. I think it's a sign. It has been resurrected as your parents' home will be. All the best.

  17. Your rock garden turned out great! I can't imagine scrubbing each rock. I also love how the birdbath turned out, really cute.

  18. Hey Skeeter -that yard is not redneck it is beautiful and all your hard work shows:0)
    Have a safe trip and maybe we will even see you:0) Even if it's a drive by with Sidekick hollering "hi" hehehe. Have a great day everyone! Ciao

  19. You are so clever and creative--if only I had an ounce of your creative energy!

  20. Skeeter, meant to ask if your frog does anything. Mine is a sprinkler, of all things. I also have a snail.
    I go for whimsy.

  21. Good evening everyone! I am running behind schedule as usual with my packing. I am about ready though so taking a minute to hop on here and say hey! So Hey...

    Lola, nope the frog is just a cheap Dollar Store find a few years ago. A water sprinkler would be awesome in this area though as it does dry out in the hot summer months. But last night with our storm, we had 1 and half inches of rain which gave us moisture but it all fell in a matter of about 15 minutes though. Lots of run off, sigh.... At least I did not have to drag the hose around the yard today.....

    Night all...

  22. You're proof that gardeners are some of the best recyclers around! I like all your ideas, Skeeter; in fact, I may copy the fern on the stump idea. We lost one pine tree in a row of pines a few years ago, and I have a short stump still sitting there that I've been wondering what to do with. Now I have an idea--thanks!

    I can relate to your rock cleaning--some of the flowerbeds I created were originally covered in layers and layers of river rock and gravel. I dug out so much rock and cleaned most of them to be re-used. I know how much work that can be!

  23. That's a lot of work cleaning all those rocks but it was definitely worth it and a great idea to make the rock garden.

  24. looks like a dahlia to me - a very pretty obe

  25. Hi Skeeter, what a lovely space you have there: a beautiful house, a wonderful garden, a wide space for the gardener to toil with. But i laughed at the mentioned of brushing each rock, and they are so plenty! It seems like a masochistic punishment, hehe! Maybe there are acids which can just be poured on the basin with rocks and then just agitating them will remove the moss! Or else you will be sitting there all day with numb hands from brushing all those gravels.

    Your plants are healthy and i am sure they will bloom soonest. BTW, Roxanne, i emailed you last week about receipt of the seed package. However, when you didn't reply i thought maybe it did not go through you again, as our experience before. I thanked you a lot there, but i will thank you here again. I am just waiting for the rainy season in our province. It has just rained a few afternoons but not enough for planting. TYVM also to Mark.