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krensgarden

Stone Collecting: Beware!

krensgarden
17 years ago

Our addiction started out innocently. Really. I was just a kid, picking rocks here on the farm every spring, enjoying it very much. After my father would contemptuosly toss them on the rock pile, I would return there and poke around. All the different colors, textures, shapes; fascinating. My bedroom dresser had 'pretty' rocks displayed on top, tho my mother had to curb the collection when the top started to sag.

Occasionally, my brother who was 13 years older than me would go to the local abandoned quarry to swim with his friends after chores. Sometimes he would take me along, and those times remain as my favorite memory. He would be swimming, having a good time, and I would be wandering around the quarry, marveling at the stone formations, looking for Fool's Gold and feeling like I was on another planet. The part of the county we live in is very flat, but the quarry was exotic, with hills and deep water- filled ponds leftover from excavation. In retrospect, no, it's not a very safe place for a small kid to be running around in, and today, that same quarry is posted and off-limits to everyone, but back in the early 60's when lawsuits weren't so prevalent, it was the place to go for many folks. Every time I drive by that quarry, I have to fight the desire to trespass, but I've been good, and have stayed away for the last 25 years.

Then, I met a boy from the neighborhood whose uncle owned a quarry 3 miles in the other direction from 'mine'. We got married, bought an acre from my dad and built a house in the alfalfa field. Time went by; his uncle sold the quarry, I became a stay-at-home mom and we became very interested in gardening. Plants and stones go beautifully together, so my childhood collection was put to good use. We exhausted the supply of rocks from my home farm and appealed to the neighbors who didn't care as long as we respected their crops. My father did, though! "What in the world are you doing bringing all that stone home? I've been trying for years to clear this land and you haul it back?" I assured him it wasn't something I was doing to torture him, and he grudgingly gave in. A little.

The stone we collected from the local piles was mostly fieldstone. Then we decided some flat stone walls would be a good idea. There is still one inactive quarry about 10 miles from our home that allows people to pick rocks by hand. Just drive up on the scale and weigh in, load yourself up, weigh out, and go pay. Two years ago, the price was a cheap $3 a ton; this year it took a jump to $20....the employee says stone is more in demand now. We hauled ton after ton home for over 10 years behind the Buick from that quarry and also our local landfill. Limestone is very close to the surface in the city and excavators digging new homes would have to blast and the stone was hauled to the dump. So, every chance we got, we loaded up the boys, hooked up the trailer and headed to the dump. I'm a cheap date.

Five years ago the high school addition was built and the construction crew had to blast for weeks and weeks. We would go there at night and stand behind the yellow Danger: Construction! tape and drool. The police patrolled the area closely, it was a liability. Piles of limestone of every size as far as you could see. The solution the city came up with was to dig a huge hole and bury all that gorgeous rock. Torture!

The boys became fascinated with, what else? Quarries & rocks. They loved to dig holes in the backyard, we gave up on the sandbox, our whole yard is sand. And then we decided to embark on a crazy venture of our own. If you can't go and play in the quarries any more, then let's build a fake one here at home. This saga ain't over yet. I am interested in knowing if anyone else here at the GW has had similar experiences and what you did to obtain your stone. I'll post more about the adventure if there's any interest. Thank you!

Comments (72)

  • krensgarden
    Original Author
    17 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Welcome pigpenpond! I'm glad to hear you found a great stash-what projects are you working on with the new rocks?

    It's fun to meet another rock addict! ;-) Karen

  • whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio
    17 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    The other day i was out hunting. I found this rather large rock. I wrestled it to the car, got it loaded and decided it would not be a good idea to take it home in my trunk. The back of the car seem to be a little low. I put it back away from the road and settled for some of his smaller brothers.

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  • leidie
    17 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Karen: fascinating thread. What does it look like in 2005? Geesh, this is really interesting.
    Leigh-Ann

  • butterflybush
    17 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I just love these stories, and yes, I am addicted, too. And my oh my, I have ROCK ENVY!!!! Over the years we have collected many rocks which I have used around flower beds. In my area, rocks are not plentiful nor are they large. Mostly about a foot across. I used them to turn a cistern into a Koi pond. Now that my husband passed away, I am selling my home, and trying to figure out how to take my fish and rocks with me. Forget all the furniture and stuff, I CAN'T leave my rocks!
    {{gwi:286121}}

  • deedlesmom
    17 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    ButterflyBush, I know what you mean about not wanting to leave your rocks. My DB and SIL bought my GM's house and don't like rocks. I took some very large rocks to my house and did some landscaping with them. Now when we moved in December, I told DH I was going back to get the rocks. Luckily, my nephew and his GF moved into my old house, so I can go back and get them. DH says to leave them there but I don't want to. I better get over there before nephew's GF gives them to somebody. They only rent, but she thinks she can do whatever the HE!! she wants. But that's another story!! LOL
    Sheree

  • krensgarden
    Original Author
    17 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    It sure is good to hear from other people who love rocks, too. I agree, the thought of leaving the rocks behind would be almost unbearable. Your pond is beautiful, Butterfly Bush.
    Here's a picture taken last week of the quarry garden. We have had alot of rain, so the water is quite high. We're still working on this garden, it's gonna take a few years at least to mature. However, the weeds are very mature!
    {{gwi:286122}}

  • jugglerguy
    17 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Karen, that's the best picture of your quarry yet. I'm so amazed that your family did all of that. Here, I'm the only one obsessed enough to move the rocks around. I did get my kids to put moss between the rocks on a couple short, new paths I build this summer. My son took a lot of pride in his work.

    Rob

  • macbirch
    17 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Karen, your place is just beautiful. And BB, I love your pond. Nice to hear about other rock addicts. Every time I dig a hole I find another rock. We've built a few small retaining walls, one flat rock that was too big to move has become a favourite spot to sit and rest and admire the view, a few other big ones have been left as decorative features, and there are quite a few spares waiting for me to come up with my next idea. It can be so frustrating, like trying to assemble a jigsaw puzzle with no one single right solution, but it's so addictive.

  • Joan Dupuis
    17 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Karen, I'm not a rock addict, because of the size of my city property. Wow, your rock/pond garden is beautiful. You and your family must be very proud of the results.

  • cindee11461
    17 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    All I can say is Amazing. What a beautiful beautiful amazing rock quarry. I am sure you are so proud of all your hard work. It is just beautiful. Wow!

  • krensgarden
    Original Author
    17 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Well, thank you! A bit of an update here: We have had some very hot temps and no rain for over a month, (along with the rest of the country) and the water level has dropped almost 3' in the quarry pond. We now have a quarry 'puddle'. ;-) We're working at putting more stone in the bottom of the pond so when the water levels go down there isn't so much shore visible. Luckily we still have some stone out in the field to use. {{gwi:286123}}
    We're also starting another project, attempting to build a stone 'cottage' for a potting shed as soon as the weather cools off a bit. We have over 100 pallets of much smaller flat limestone leftover from the quarry garden and we got the bright idea to build something else. So far, July 8th, we have poured the foundation. Here our son Joel is putting various types of leaves into the wet cement, happy to report it worked out very well.
    {{gwi:286124}}

  • cindee11461
    17 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thanks for sharing the pictures. I can't get over how wonderful the quarry is. We live near a creek and that is where I get rocks for my different "little" things in the yard.(-: I can't even imagine how much work was involved in your project. It is so beautiful. You should be featured on HGTV.

  • creamgogo
    17 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    i have passed this post 1,000 times. curiosity got me! now, i wish i would have stopped in earlier, as i couldn't open some of the earlier photos. they must be gone.

    unbelieveable! what an awesome family project. i, too, have always loved a good rock! keep this thread open, as it's great!

    aa

  • sequoia54
    17 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hi there--
    I've been lurking intermittently for the past few months. Insanity loves company, LOL! My house was built on land that was formerly a large farm, and since this is New England I expect to find stones when I dig in the garden. But last year, what should I find about 12" below the present grade but several HUGE stones butted up against one another--and a rusty strand of barbed wire. EUREKA! part of the boundary wall from the old farm. Since then I have stumbled upon other fragments here and there. Apparently when the land was developed, whatever stones weren't used to make small retaining walls around the daylight basement were left in place, and fill added on top.

    Thought my fellow stone collectors would appreciate the irony! (I am building a wall in the garden along the street--so hope to eventually get all those "originals" transplanted)

  • Aunt_Net
    17 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    LOVE IT - LOVE IT - LOVE IT!!!!! Your writing is terrific and the pics I'm sure don't do it justice. Thanks so much for sharing in such a fun way.

    Everyone else who has shared their rock insanity - nice to know I've got cousins. If you've ever seen the Lucille Ball movie, The Long Long Trailer, you'll understand why my DH calls me "LUCY" now and then.

  • krensgarden
    Original Author
    17 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    sequoia54 and Aunt Net, thank you so much and glad you enjoyed reading about our insanity. Sounds like you have stumbled upon a goldmine with the buried rocks. "One's man junk is another man's treasure" has never been more true than when speaking of collecting stones. ;-) Hope you will share some pics with us too!

    Update on the rock mania around here: we finally started buiding that round stone cottage a week and a half ago, oh boy. This is a challenge almost bigger than building the quarry was, at least in terms of 'getting it right'. I'll post some pics as soon as we have something to look at, it's very s.l.o.w.... going.
    Thanks again! Karen

  • FirmDancer
    17 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I just found this website, and this forum. Gardening with stone - gosh, I think I've found a home! My non-"gardening with stone" friends think I'm insane.

    krensgarden and butterfly bush - thank you for sharing your pictures. That quarry is amazing!!! hmmm, it's inspiring me ...

  • krensgarden
    Original Author
    17 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Welcome to the rock insanity forum, FirmDancer! We're glad to add you to our ranks.
    Here's some pics of the narrow 'escarpment' addition we finished up in July. This area is just to the west of the quarry itself. The first pic is of the front side and the second is of the staircase on the back.
    {{gwi:286125}}

    {{gwi:286126}}
    {{gwi:286127}}
    The view from across the quarry.{{gwi:286129}}

  • FirmDancer
    17 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Krensgarden - that is so impressive!

  • Aunt_Net
    17 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Just taking a peek to see if you added more pics, and sure enough you did. I am so amazed at what you and your family have accomplished. KUDOS!!! I will not grumble anymore about laying piddly little flagstone.
    How is the stone cottage coming along? Hope you post some pics of in in progress, those are always so interesting to see how a project comes together.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Aunt Net

  • krensgarden
    Original Author
    17 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hi Aunt Net, Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed those pictures. Flagstone? Do you have any pictures of your projects you'd like to share? I know how hard that job is too.
    We're still working on the stone house and the progress is slow but sure. Trouble is winter will soon be upon us, so I don't think we're going to get too much more done before the snow flies. This is our first time out with mortaring stone and we have a long way to go, hopefully to 7' tall. (I wonder how many years (decades?) this will take? :-) Here's some pictures of the job so far. That's our masonry supervisor, Teddy the dog, checking our work back in September.
    {{gwi:286130}}

    Here's the inside of the building:

    {{gwi:286131}}
    And here's two of the most recent pictures of the outside taken the first week in October, I'm in the background searching for a rock and Carl and David are mortaring. When the guys are gone to work and school, I dry fit stone during the day so there's some wall ready to mortar when they get home. It's sort of like a giant jigsaw puzzle with the pieces spread out all over the lawn on pallets. It really is fun, but very time consuming. Now that we are getting the hang of it, we wish we had another six months to work on this project, but I guess all gardens and gardeners need to take a break some time.
    {{gwi:286132}}
    {{gwi:286133}}

  • echoes_or
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    The quarry is awesome and it's so nice to find fellow rockers here. I will show some of our rocks from the work garden we started in 2004. Our landscape project is an outdoor classroom featuring various gardening ways people can utilize wth fire safety in mind. I live and work in wildfire prone area so this garden is open to the public during summer months. Having piles of large rocks outside during the first part of the project just pulled people off the highway to look at them. I'm sure that if others had the equipment we have they would have been swipped during the nights. LOL

    {{gwi:286134}}

    {{gwi:286135}}

    {{gwi:286136}}

    {{gwi:286138}}

    {{gwi:286139}}

    {{gwi:286140}}

    {{gwi:286141}}

    Going back to look at these pictures reminds me of the first summer working on this. The gardens have evolved so much but the rocks have stayed the same.

  • extremegardening
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I carried a 100+ lb rock home as a carry-on, on the flight home from my honeymoon years ago. I had it in the carryon bag, and tried my best to pretend it was not anything heavy or odd.

  • laurelin
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Karen, I read the early stages of this thread last year, and really enjoyed it. It's so nice to go back and see the pictures of the progress you've made. You've created an amazing feature on your property, and I'm in awe of the amount of stone you and your family have moved! I spent last fall and this spring rebuilding a fallen stone retaining wall, and putting a new terrace and pair of patios (crushed rock, not flagstone) and a raised bed in the back yard, all made of stone. I'm very pleased with the result - it looks so NATURAL, pardon the cliche. My kids have gotten used to me stopping to pick up unusual stones (initially they grumped and rolled their eyes, but now they help me find "good" ones, and fossils are a bonus), and when our friends bought a house by a creek, we paid their sons to pick rocks for us too.

    It's good to know I'm not the only gardener who has a dirty car trunk with rock chips in the corners, and a pile of stones in the yard just waiting to find their proper placement. . . .

    Laurel

  • krensgarden
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Echoes, thank you for the pics, that is a gorgeous project, the stones just 'fit' the site, and the pond is lovely.

    extremegardening, carrying a 100 pound rock and making it look like nothing out of the ordinary had to be an amazing feat, lol. It must have been an extraordinary rock, do you have any pics?

    Laurel, good to meet a fellow rocker, wow, you've been busy this year already and have accomplished alot of projects! Speaking of car trunks and the state therein, when I went to the grocery store the other day and opened the trunk the carry-out person gave me the oddest look; we had another pile of rocks in there I'd forgotten about. (for better gas mileage, I have to remember to unload the car) It's really fun when the kids get involved and excited about collecting stones, too. Two weeks ago our youngest son was hired by the neighbor farmer to pick the stones off his farm fields (500+ acres) and he brought all of the stones home to our 'stash'. We have some really neat specimens again. Now we need another project, hmmmm...

    A quick update: we just finished remodelling the front yard with some bigger leftover quarry project stone because we lost some large trees and it needed a new look. It turned out fairly well. As soon as the gardens are weeded and planted, then we'll turn our attention back to the stone cottage construction. Thank you all for your kind comments! Karen

  • diggerb2
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    WOW!!!

  • buyorsell888
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I just discovered this this thread. WOW!!!!! is right.

    Karen, your quarry garden is absolutely outstanding. Amazing. You could charge admission. I've never seen anything like it. I am stunned.

    The pics of the forest river garden are outstanding too. Looks totally natural.

    I'm so glad to know that I'm not the only one who has been picking up and collecting rocks all her life. I have rocks all over the house and yard. I have carried rocks in my car, rocks in my suitcase (although never a 100lb one!) sent rocks UPS, had friends bring me rocks. I love rocks.

    My rock projects are very small by the standards of this thread.

  • denise63
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I just read this whole sight and your adventure is amazing!
    I too have collected numerous rocks over the years, mostly for free out of farmers fields. Did you always envision it to turn out that way? Wow is all I can say, its awesome! I too live in WI and swam in a quarry by Red Granite as a teenager. It was great fun. I know its been blocked for years but it brought back memories for me of the fun of being a kid! Thanks for your story. Any new pictures of the shed?

  • gardenscout
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    This is the coolest thread ever posted on GW.

    That quarry brought tears to my eyes. Your descriptions of your adventures are so well written. You should publish a book, complete with color illustrations. You write beautifully and you have such a story to tell.

    I will be awaiting updates, and I will often think of you and your family as I work on my (lame) brick and stone projects.

    Thanks to each of you for your rock stories. I enjoyed every one of them.

    p.s. Thanks for the reminder about the gas milage -- I have rocks in my trunk right now.

  • diggerb2
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    its mid july 06. how about some photo updates. we're patiently waiting to live vicariously through you adventures? how is the round stone shed coming?

    I know that you already started. but have you ever read about the 'trulli' built by southern italians. they built
    round stone cottages, with conical roofs-- interlocking
    circles form the various rooms to mitigate damage from earthquakes.

    diggerb

  • blacky1
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    As a new member I'm glad this was one of my first few forums to read. This has been the best adventure I have read in a long time. I also have this addiction to rocks. Let's hope they don't start an "addiction to rock rehab centre", there would be lots of us. I laughed at so many stories because I can relate to them all and how innocent a little rock can be. I have a pile waiting in Collingwood to pick up to finish my "little" project. Thanks for writing and look forward to more.

    blacky1

  • von1
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    You know its bad when you're out for a drive and you spy a good rock on the side of the road and try to make DH stop and get it for you. The thing is they look so small from the car!!!
    We were digging (with a backhoe) a place in the woods to bury our beloved golden retreiver. Made him set aside an interesting rock for the garden. She loved to help me garden so she would understand.
    Von

  • litforever
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I think for me the obcession for rocks began at an early age, i remember well, early in the spring when dad broke the ground for the crops, going with him and walking across the freshly plowed earth hoping to find that one special arrowhead for my collection, year-round i scourged the farmlands in my area looking for these precious stones. later in life i had the opportunity to help my Bro in law with his first home, as the giant redstone rocks rolled from under the dozers blade my mind was awhirl as to what i could use them for.( I built a raised rock bed around his mailbox and framed his driveway entrance for flower planting) then just this past spring as i marveled at the beauty of our central KY streams, i realized i wanted to build a dry stack wall/flower bed around around the giant pin oak in my yard, 6 weeks later and BAM! it was done, now im currently in my mind creating my next rock project. time will tell and my back will always remember what i plan to do next. I cant wait! woo HOO

  • jasper_60103
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hi everyone. This is my first time visiting this forum.
    I like rocks too, but I must admit the ones I spent time scavenging for in my neighborhood don't compare to the pics here!
    I think I'll hang around. I may learn something.
    Thanks for sharing.

    -jasper

  • jugglerguy
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hey Litforever, how about posting a picture of that wall? I'd love to see it.

  • litforever
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    jugglerguy, i couldnt get the pic posted inside this forum, so i posted it in the photo gallery forum. It is under "proud projects", the week of aug 13-19., the caption reads "limestone wall/container built from creek limestone". you can also go to Flickr and search for litforever,I would provide you with the link , but heck i lost it! lol

  • orcuttnyc
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I'm in lower New York State. On my property, you can't turn around without bumping into stone. The ground is laden with it. To build my house, we had to excavate through pink granite. I placed a rather large one in my front yard. I put cracked corn and peanuts on it, and attract all manner of beasts.
    Every ledge and windowsill around my house have smaller rocks that I find interesting. I love the variety of stone I come across, especially the ones with the beautifull quartzite veins flowing through them. Mowing the lawn, just not seem right, without the occassional thunking of the stones, which grow from frosts, in the yard!
    I'm also an avid 'piler' of stones. Love it!
    I have fossils hot glued in patterns on the bathroom walls.
    Sheesh! Got rocks?

    {{gwi:286142}}

  • krensgarden
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Well...I've been gone awhile and thought I'd update what's been going on with our rock obsession. The summer of 2006 was very busy, we had many garden tours and other visitors that kept us hopping. Since all of the summer work was so intense, by the time things slacked off a bit we were heading into fall. Unfortunately, cold weather and mortar work don't mix. So, the stone cottage was put to the side for the year, but is our priority for 2007. (A New Year's resolution)
    Our fall was quite warm, though, and we longed to do something, anything! with rocks. So, I got a notion to do a bit of remodelling to the quarry. We had four Scotch pines planted on the north wall of the quarry garden that we decided we could part with for expansion purposes. We yanked them out with our farm tractor and then set about bringing in the leftover stones we had and building another addition to the small hill. After we took the trees out, we all suffered a moment of panic; was that really a good idea? Oh, well, too late now.

    We hauled more dirt back from the pile one yard at a time and gradually built up the area. The pictures show our progress from September 06 to the first of December.
    Here is the way it looked before we removed the trees.
    {{gwi:286143}}
    krensgarden
    Removing trees:
    {{gwi:286145}}
    krensgarden
    Below we are moving rocks out of the way after the trees were down.
    {{gwi:286147}}
    krensgarden
    More dirt hauled back in:
    {{gwi:286149}}
    krensgarden
    Views of the new wall taking shape:
    {{gwi:286150}}
    krensgarden
    Finally, the view as of our last construction for the year:
    {{gwi:286151}}
    krensgarden
    {{gwi:286153}}
    krensgarden

  • jugglerguy
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Karen! You're alive! I was starting to wonder if a big rock fell on you and squished you. I'm glad to see that you're alive and the quarry continues to grow and improve. I'm anxious to see that cottage when you get it finished next summer.

    I built a low but long retaining wall this summer that turned out nice. I also finished the path I started last summer. I tore out the lawn on the other side of the path and planted more shade plants.

  • krensgarden
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Yes, we are alive and it's good to hear from you, too. The stone house is still standing, but with no additions to it since last fall. It will be our main focus in 2007.

    Your retaining walls are beautiful and your entire garden looks like a botanical paradise, so lush and cool. Are you still getting stone from the area around your home? You have some beauties there and an eye for rock placement; everything looks so natural. Thank you for sharing!

  • jugglerguy
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I don't know about a botanical paradise, but I like it. I get my rocks from various farmers who are all about 15 minutes away. The two huge rocks in my front yard (including the one with my address on it) came from much closer, but just those two.

    I'm going to try to take a break from major additions to my yard next summer and try to just enjoy it. I'm pretty sure that won't happen, but that's the plan.

  • gardenscout
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I cannot thank you enough for the update to your backyard quarry. I think about you and your rock-hound family all the time, and I was hoping you'd come back with more pics. It is so inspiring.

    I have said it before, and I'll say it again: This is the best thread I have ever read on GardenWeb. Thank you for your generosity.

    And Jugglerguy -- Your stone wall is just like something I am going to be working on this Spring. I very much appreciate the pics. You did a very nice job, and I am only hoping for a similar result.

  • jugglerguy
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Gardenscout,

    Thanks for the compliment. I should warn you that it was harder than I thought it would be to build that wall. However, I'm more proud of that wall than anything else in my yard.

    Here are a couple things I learned:

    I think the wall looks better with big rocks, but big rocks are heavy and much more difficult to work with.

    Get rocks with a flat side for the front. I tried to have fairly flat sides facing outward.

    The more rocks you can have around, the easier it will be. I gathered my rocks in a Jeep Wrangler, so I could only bring a few home at a time. You'll have an easier time building if you have 20 or more rocks to choose from. I built and rebuilt parts of the wall many times before I got the rocks to fit together just right. I also started in the middle and worked both ways to I'd have two places to try to fit rocks to. The more options the better.

    The first two rows of rocks are the easiest, because the bottom row can be lowered into the ground at any angle or depth. You might want to put your less than perfect rocks on the first layer for this reason. Bury the bumpy parts that wouldn't stack nicely.

    I didn't make a base of gravel, but I probably should have. The ground here is pure sand, so I didn't think I would have a drainage problem. I also didn't use any landscape fabric behind my wall, but that might be smart to do. I chinked the wall from behind with smaller rocks and the small holes are stuffed with cedar bark mulch from under my kids' swings. A neighbor kid worked for a landscaper last summer and told me that's what they did between rocks. Good idea? I'll let you know in a few years. So far it's working.

    I hope some of that advice helps. I'm just winging it here, so please realize that I'm not giving professional advice.

    Rob

  • krensgarden
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Rob, we know all about that plan for no more major additions, truly we do. But then a rock comes along, and then another one and before you know it, you're off and building. Your stone walls are fantastic.

    gardenscout, gosh, thank you for the compliments; I'm glad you're enjoying our ongoing antics. It's great to know other people share the same addiction; wouldn't it be fun to visit each other's yards and discuss rocks and projects?

    The stone house is something we're talking about a lot so far this winter. Once again, we have no blueprint really, it's just a picture drawn out on paper and we've yet to commit to the finished look which will also depend on the amount of rocks we have leftover. We'll probably end up hauling some more stone from the nearby quarry again, but the Mighty Buick ain't what she used to be and my contractor friend is always busy (gee I wonder why?) Carl saw a dumptruck for sale on the side of the road and I managed to talk him out of it...yes, it would be great... but it needed all new tires and neither of us has a license to drive one, lol. It is fun to dream, however!

  • diggerb2
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    so glad you took time to update us again.
    I just can not believe what you are doing-- just amazing
    like i said the ist time i logged in WOW!!!
    i really like the story
    diggerb

    PS we all look forward to hearing/seeing more this year.

  • cassvig
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I just stumbled across this site. I think you are all wonderful. I have so enjoyed it! Thank you. Love the rock in the carry on bag story. Trying to look casual. Priceless. I too have taken beloved rocks with me when we moved. We now live in a Victorian and it sits partially upon a huge rock outcropping. When they built the house in 1902 they built the foundation from the rock they excavated. All hand carved. Years ago when we were in our last beloved home we had to put in new leaching fields and the excavator dig up an ENORMOUS rock which was right in the pathway. He had to dig a huge hole and rebury it. How I wish one of you could have had it or I had been smart enough to tell him to just leave it in the field and done something wonderful near it or just sit with my back to it in the sun. I know where it is though and that's a certain kind of joy. Thanks so much for all the pleasure I have gotten from your sharing. :)

  • ilsa
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Bump.
    Well, we *do* enjoy the ongoing story, and it *is* Spring, after all! Looking forward to hearing about/seeing pics of the stone house. Please keep us posted!

  • featherguard
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Anyone know where I find information re health dangers from granite; have heard of radon. Native Americans in South use granite for "sweats" (sauna for religious reasons) and after rocks are heated glowing red, are brought indoors and water poured over them. Am wondering about the radon and any lung damage?

  • nanner10
    12 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Oh noooooo! This story can not end here! Where is everyone??? I jumped into this thread with both feet and then found myself reading it more slowly because I did not want it to end. And then, zip, no more postings. Please everyone, come back and tell us all more!

  • krensgarden
    Original Author
    12 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hello nanner, I thought I'd post a bit about what's been going on around here the last few years. I wish I could say the stone house is done, but it isn't. (I feel very silly about the fact it's not done. We had every good intention of finishing it and we have laid more stonework every year, but other stuff keeps getting in the way, namely, life!)

    We got involved with finishing and remodeling the quarry garden and a whole bunch of other stuff, like moving the little 'barn' again (for the 4th and final time--at least, that's what we told our son, who wasn't amused!)

    Last fall, our furnace gave out, so we installed geothermal which meant we had to tear up the entire west side of our yard (about a half acre) and saw down trees, dig up hundreds of hostas and perennials and relocate as many as possible.

    The bright side of this was the opportunity to change the entire landscape of the front of the house, AND to get more rocks! Our 'digger guy' "C" is still around, too, and he was instrumental in the geothermal excavation and in loading another 130 tons from the local quarry for us. We had "C" make a berm close to the house and that's where we started the new rock garden. We're not sure if it fits in the landscaping or not, and we jokingly refer to it as 'the elephant burial mound' which is kind of self-explanatory. :-)

    The first pic shows one of the four trenches:
    {{gwi:286156}}
    {{gwi:286158}}

    Below is a picture of Carl & I after two of the six loads of rocks were delivered.
    {{gwi:286160}}
    By December 2009, this was as far as we got on the Elephant Burial Mound:
    {{gwi:286161}}

    I have to take more updated pictures of this garden, especially after the dwarf conifers and flowers are planted.

    I started a blog about the garden with lots of pictures and all the other goofy stuff that goes on around here which goes into much more detail, if you're interested, the address is:
    http://krensgarden-karen.blogspot.com/

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