This rocks!

In my ideal garden there are five main components: plants, paths (open space), water, structures, and rocks. I've always wanted to add large rocks to some of my beds, but have had to settle for those that I could lift and move myself -- something around 12-18" in "diameter". Bigger than that and they're just too heavy.

Still, I'm pretty pleased with what rocks of even this size can do to a bed, so I've got a lot of them. I'm always on the lookout for more though, and I've just gotten a new supply of them!


I didn't have to buy these, or salvage them from a construction site. No, these were much easier to "find".

They were part of my chimney.

As you can see, I'm having it rebuilt because many of the stones are cracked:

I've been fighting with this for years and years -- after long periods of rain, water will seep into the interior parts of the chimney (not in the fireplace, not down the wall or onto the ceiling), collect on top of the foundation, and run down the basement wall.

I've had the chimney tuckpointed a couple of times, and that never helps for more than a year. As you can see from the top of that last photo, the cracks in the stone have spread to the mortar joints too, so the mortar doesn't last nearly as long as it should.

So all of the old stone is coming out, to be replaced with new solid stuff.

They said it's pretty crumbly inside too.

I told the masons that I want to keep as much of the old stone as possible to use in my garden. Not only were they able to give me a small discount because of this, but it keeps the debris out of the landfill or wherever they would take it. I'm not sure how many good, whole rocks I'll get out of it, but there will be some for sure.

I'll have more posts about this exciting* project soon.

(*It's exciting for three reasons: 1) I'm getting the leak problem fixed finally, 2) I'm not the one having to do the work, and 3) I'm getting new garden rocks!)

Do you have ornamental rocks in your garden?


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Sylvanna  – (October 21, 2011 at 8:20 AM)  

I agree with the excitement factor. New rocks! How can that not be fun? I have a few garden rocks of that size. Unfortunately, a couple of them had to be placed to discourage cats.

anne  – (October 21, 2011 at 2:02 PM)  

Other than some small flat fieldstone rocks I found on the property and placed in various random places, I have a heavy quartz and druzy agate rock the builders found during our house renovation. It has crystals and other interesting surfaces peeking out - I really want to see what's are great garden ornaments -I probably should have more!

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (October 21, 2011 at 2:52 PM)  

Hey, I'd take a few of yours rocks. Even if you end up with only 5 or 10 of them, they look great.

I do have quite a few smallish rocks in our succulent beds, but no big boulders. But I think rocks are BEST ornaments any garden can have. When we finally do that major backyard overhaul I've been envisioning, rocks will be a big part of it.

Jennifer  – (October 21, 2011 at 6:33 PM)  

I love re-purposing materials! My in-laws have a 100-year house (give or take) that had a boulder foundation. When they dug out the new basement they kept the boulders to use in the yard. They also took out the non-used chimney, and used the bricks as a patio around the firepit.

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