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rock garden rebuild

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#1 Gtractor ONLINE  


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Posted March 15, 2015 - 10:58 PM

Now that I can once again post pictures, ya'll are gonna get sick of me postin' them.


This area doesn't look like much - half because of neglect the last few years and half because theres no flowers out yet, its just too early in the season.  Several years ago when we did this project, we had dogs that used to love to dig holes to lay in when it got hot in the summer.  Grass would never grow here anyhow because its too shady and drainage was pitiful.  I got the edging free when I helped mom tear it out at her place and figured the rocks would deter the dogs from digging there. 

The rocks didn't really care if it was  mostly shaded. 

It still looked decent in the summer when the Mrs. has a bunch of flowers in there but maintaining the area has become a real chore.  The plastic we put down under the rocks is still good 15 years later but the maple tree in front of the house drops "helecopters" [seeds] and leaves every year making a rich compost that last year grew some nasty vine-like plant that grew faster than we could keep them pulled.  I sprayed glyphosate many times but trying not to get the weed killer on the flowers was a real problem.  


Picture #1 shows the area today before starting.  The vine-like vegitation is already getting a good start.

I live in a very old farmhouse complete with asbestos siding from a major makeover and expansion in 1956.  The carefully stacked rock foundation on the older half of the house leaves gaps where outside air can blow right under the house so I always put hay bales around the foundation in the winter time.  Those bales will be removed and put back in the barn this week.



Pic #2 shows my improvised sifter for separating the unwanted yard waste from the rocks.  This was the tool box from my John Deere 60 [farm tractor - not lawn tractor].  For some reason I failed to put the toold box back on after I got the engine unstuck and must have totally forgotten about it when I sold the tractor back in '06.   It works perfect for this project with its expanded steel bottom. 



Pic #3 shows the toolbox/sifter with a couple of handfulls of dirty rocks inside.  Finding low spots in the yard is a good place to stand while doing the shaking!



Pic #4 shows the rocks after a good shaking.  The dirt just falls out the bottom.



Pic #5 is my improvised rock washer. I started with an old window screen but it was really slow.  This corrigated tin, placed at an angle with one end on a sawhorse works much faster.  With a quick flush of the garden hose,  any dirt left rolls down the tin, which has been strategically placed in a low spot in the yard.  This should give me a good top-dressing and at least help to fill in the low spot a little at a time without snuffing out the grass.  The rocks pretty much stay put on the tin and are then clean and ready to reinstall. 



Pic #6 is the tub for clean rock.  Its not as white as it was when new but  I think the raindrops hitting it after its spread back out in the area will finish the cleaning without having to fire up the pressure washer.  Mrs. doesn't like the bright white anyhow.  She wants to buy all new river-rock in multi-colors. I'm too cheap to invest in all new rock.



While everything is torn out I'm also going to reshape the area with a taper to divert water away from the house.  As it had been the heavy rain ponds next to the front porch.  Also,  the edging will be removed and repainted.  I already bought new weed-proof mat for under the rock although the original plastic still looked pretty good.   I figure this project will take several days and as I'm back to work full time it may very easily take a couple of weeks to complete working on it when I feel up to it.. 

Edited by Gtractor, March 15, 2015 - 11:02 PM.

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#2 oldedeeres ONLINE  

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Posted March 15, 2015 - 11:21 PM

That is a nice place for a rock garden, right by the door. Do ferns grow in your area? They are pretty much care free, like a shady place, and do well against a wall or foundation...always look cool and graceful to my eye. I like your idea for sorting the rocks out of the "junk", it makes use out of the dirt and saves the expense of buying new rock.

#3 Gtractor ONLINE  


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Posted April 15, 2015 - 08:16 PM

Olddeeres,  I responded to your post but that was the day GTTalk had a nuclear meltdown and lost some of its posts.

I forget what it said now.....  :(

Took nearly a month to get this job done.  It rained every other day and I been working the maximum hours allowed by law. [no joke!]

If nothing else, I improved the drainage a gobb and a bunch.  During a rainy season I get a musty smell from water running under the house.

I hope the rocks get back to bright white with rain washing them off.  If not, I'll have to pressure wash them or bleach them. 

The MRS. wanted the border red so red it is.  It needed some contrast anyhow.  White house, white rock, white border.....  

She is always right.  :thumbs:   AND a pretty good judge of a mate.  :angel:


We still haven't gotten the flowers installed but that should happen this week.  The MRS took a few days off so she can fix it just how she wants. 


rock gdn done.jpg

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#4 KennyP ONLINE  



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Posted April 16, 2015 - 06:42 AM

Looks good. Think I would have used a 'Brick Red' though.

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#5 Gtractor ONLINE  


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Posted April 16, 2015 - 02:36 PM

It's Case/IH red    :deadhorse:


It does need to be darker or paint the bricks to match.....

#6 helgajones OFFLINE  

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Posted June 01, 2015 - 05:22 AM

That is a very nice landscape of your garden. I have been remodeling my garden as well but looking for some ideas. When I saw your post, I was really inspired and I'm planning to start my landscaping soon. Thank you for sharing your ideas with us as well as your photos.