Monday, September 8, 2014

Finishing Touches in the Garden

Rocks in the garden are the equivalent of mascara for blond eyelashes. (Note: This is the opinion of a strawberry blond that is seldom seen outside her neighborhood without mascara.) Rocks make elements in the garden stand out ... and they add a little magic. Prior to last year, I had two rocks in my garden. Now they define entry points onto paths, define space, add water elements, act as stepping stones in my mushy grass (I can now traverse my garden without muddy feet even in the wettest of weather) and provide seating in the form of a semi-circular rock wall. I dream of lining my gravel paths and beds with them, too. I have books filled with ways to use rocks in the garden, and Pinterest offers lots of inspiration. The use of rocks is virtually limitless in a garden setting. If I had three wishes from a genie, I very likely would use one of them to make rocks weigh less. Moving the darn things is probably the biggest obstacle to using more of them. Do rocks play an important role in your garden?

Three basalt columns. One with still water; the other two with bamboo spouts.
One of my all time favorite fountains.
Rock as an eye-catching mulch.
Perhaps easier than building a short wall? Photo: Pinterest
Mary-Kate Mackey created her own alpine scree where dwarf conifers and Lewisia thrive.
Loose Mexican pebbles (with concrete keystone) add color and stature to the transitional space between driveway and my garden's gate.
Rocks aid in managing stormwater runoff. From a courtyard designed by Steven Koch, FASLA.
Rock as art - painted green and used as sculpture in this case. Michael Schultz designed this garden.
Hosting a miniature fairy house. How adorable is that?!?! Photo: Pinterest

This looks like the fantastic work of Jeffrey Bale. Photo: Pinterest
A magical mix of stones. Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

Large stone pavers are beautifully crafted to create a safe, level walkway while stacked rocks define garden beds.

A rock "chair" in the dry stack wall.
The kind of low rock wall I'd love to have in my garden.

Beautiful stone steps. The more rustic coloration works well with the drought tolerant plantings.

The various stones add visual interest and provide a place to stop and enjoy the bubbler.

Same stones, but the path to the front door is mortared while the gaps between stones in less formal patio is not.

Reinforcing the Japanese style in this garden, rocks do it all: create points of entry, establish the edges of raised beds, and lead the eye through the space.
Beautiful rock wall (and garden) designed by Adriana Berry, APLD, of Plant Passion Design LLC. It's a great place to relax and enjoy different views of the garden ... and expands seating for garden parties!


  1. Great photos and fun that I even recognize where some of the photos were taken. Those semi-circular walls/seating areas in your garden were wonderful and I regret not getting pictures of them when we visited. I need to get back with camera in hand!