Gardens of different types seem to be multiplying around here. There’s a veggie garden, a flower garden. a salad garden, a tea garden, a herb garden, a small orchard and numerous perennial gardens. How to keep track of them all?!
|A cypress and stonecrop sedum.|
When the house was built fourteen years ago, rocks unearthed as the basement was dug were lined up to form a stone wall. A bulldozer was used for this project. I never liked the bulldozed wall. A respectable-looking stone wall is not made by a bulldozer, it didn’t look natural, nor did it seem like it belonged here. So, finally, I collapsed it, prying boulders loose with a pry bar, and letting them tumble down the hillside. Smaller, movable stones were rolled over to a boundary line where I’ve started to build a dry-laid, hand-stacked stone wall.
|The new rock garden- the torso is the upright stone.|
What now remains of the bulldozed wall is a natural looking grouping of a few rocks nestled into the ground at varying heights. One of the rocks was entirely different from the others. It is a "ringing" rock (click here to find ringing rocks in Wikipedia). This type of rock is common here, amongst many other types. I first noticed the ringing effect while tossing rocks into piles for stone wall building. They land with a distinct ringing sound, unlike others that hit the pile with a dull thud. The Wikipedia article suggests tapping the handle of a ceramic coffee cup to hear a similar sound. Other characteristics are that they seem heavier, or denser than most other rocks, and they are a dark grey color that becomes black when the stone is wet.
The ringing rock is a long, oblong-like shape. I wanted to set it upright, partly burying it to keep it in place. This project took a week of daily shifting the rock a few inches at a time with a pry bar, being that it was way too heavy to move all at once. One final determined pry made it stand upright in the hole I’d dug. The shape of this rock seems to resemble an ancient carved stone torso that has lost its head and arms over the years. In the rain it turns black, standing out dramatically from its surroundings.
With the rocks in their new places, my next thought was to find plants to grow between them and around the "torso", but I didn’t want the plants to obscure the stones. After all of my hard work, I felt the rocks should be dominant objects in the garden. This led me to think of miniature plants. I’d never grown miniature plants. It took a little research to find what I needed. A helpful resource was a listing of plants (with photos) found here.
|Mini Hostas from NH Hosta.|
The miniatures garden, so far, is a small collection of plants. They are all experimental since it usually takes some time to find what grows well in a new area. Among other types, my research to find small plants brought up a variety of mini hostas. I love hostas. They are perfect for this partly shaded area, and the mini ones have a charm that I cannot resist. Today I received an order of mini’s from NH Hostas, a nursery that offers a fabulous variety of this plant. They are sweet! -jmm