Rock on

(This entry was originally posted Tuesday, 6/17/07 on my website in a foolish attempt to create a blog without blog software.)

Want to know what a half ton of rock looks like? Take a gander at the photo to the below.

We lifted each of those rocks, many of them two-man rocks, at least three times. Once into the truck, then off the truck into the wheelbarrow to wheel to the patio, then from the patio to the wall. With luck, our first guess for best fit was right, but generally, it was not and we had to lift rocks many more times before we found the one that worked best for the spot.

It took us longer than usual to get in the groove with this rock wall. I began to despair, thinking that maybe we should have hired someone to do this. But then, something clicked and we made progress.

There will be a triangular bed, edged in rock, in front of this wall. It will continue on the other side of the steps (yet to be built), mimicking what we’ve built on the other side of the pond and waterfall.

We’re going to build 4 stone steps between the 2 sections of rock wall (the one on the right will be where it’s dirt and weeds at the moment). I would love big slabs of stone but the cost ($100 each!) and the required heavy machinery to place them (many pounds beyond 2-man rocks) put this idea out of reach. So we’re going with Plan B (which I think I like more than Plan A). We’re going to build the steps with squared basalt rocks along the face (the riser), filling in behind with either 1/4-minus gravel or tumbled bluestone (the tread). I haven’t decided which I prefer for the tread or whether this will be mortared in place or dry stacked. That’s my next area of research.

Whatever I decide upon, I may add mosaics to the face of the stone. Something small and simple, perhaps spirals or waves, or maybe a dragonfly. Something to draw the eye to the back garden when you step in the front door.

We built this wall with more than a ton of gray basalt. And boy, did we feel muscles we didn’t know we had.

But, oh, it looks so good!

I find myself standing and staring at it, loving the play of gray rock and green plants. It defines this area so much better than the slope and mixed plantings that once existed in this area.

When I lose heart at the seeming lack of progress, I glance to the right, see what we’ve accomplished and find the motivation and the energy to keep on moving.

As much as I enjoy the process, I am looking forward to the finish line.

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