The Rock Garden

The Rock Garden

By Cheryl Lewis

I recently moved in to a new house. We, my husband and I, built a home situated on an old farm homestead field. We have been here for over ten months now through all the seasons and with a little green grass now growing. I have started building my ‘spaces’ through out the field. There is unlimited potential as I am starting from scratch with no other gardens to work around.
I have been at a loss as it came to the back of the house. The house is, for now, a big rectangle with out much interference from details of the house. The long rectangular backyard ends right up along the house with openings at both ends. In the middle of the house in the back is a small concrete porch that leads up to the back door.

It can be a difficult decision to create your own space and to plan any garden from scratch, but hopefully this article on how I create a starting space for my continued gardening projects will be an inspiration to you.

The space I considered on converting is shaded for over half of the day. I have a passion for roses and I know that my climbers will not survive with out their needed sun. I did not want to put an overwhelming amount of time into the back yard, as my front yard is huge and will require the majority of my gardening time. I opted to install a three foot wide river rock garden over the entire length of the back of my home.

The river rock garden on the back of my home will fill many needs. First, as we have not had the time to put gutters or similar type of rain spouts on the house, the installation of my rock garden will pull the water towards the sides of the house preventing any water damages. The rock garden will prevent the backsplash of mud up on to the foundation. Lastly, my easy to care for rock garden will appear beautiful and original in the case I should be entertaining in the back yard.

I began my project by deciding exactly how wide and long my rock garden would be. After taking the needed measurements, I headed to the local hardware store to investigate the types of plastic and landscaping materials I would want to use. I opted for a three ply landscape materials that consists of two very thick layers of plastic which sandwich a thin layer of a felt like material. This thick material will guarantee that my garden will remain weed free for at least twenty years. I bought my landscaping material in the off- season of fall. The six by fifty foot sheet was, I thought, inexpensive for the many years of not having to weed this area.

Then I leveled off the ground to have just the slightest slope reaching up towards the foundation wall. I had to lay the landscaping material out over the lawn, measure and cut up the middle creating two-three foot wide sections that are both fifty-foot long. This left me with plenty of material to work around the porch, and with other projects through out my vast yard.

The ground is leveled with a tapering effect, and the landscaping material is cut. I now laid the material along the foundation wall as close as possible the entire length of the house. I was ready for rock delivery. My rock delivery consisted of me getting the keys from my husband for his truck and traveling ten miles down the road to the local supply yard. A ton of river rock was less that thirty dollars, and I have planned for two loads to cover the three-foot by fifty- foot section. If you have any questions on how much you need to cover a certain space the sellers are generally very educated in this field and will be happy to help you.

I should also note here, that there is a variety of rock you can use for this type of project. The river rock I had to choose from came in five different sizes. I choose a mid sized rock, about the size of half of your fist. I didnÂ’t want any of the neighbor cats coming up and using my rock bed as litter so use of the tiniest rock did not enter my mind. I did not choose the next smallest size either, because I have three children that are notorious for putting all kinds of crazy things in their pockets if they think they are cool. Therefore, the next size up was a choice to save my yard from the cats, and to save my washer from the rocks.

Of course unloading the truck on a hot fall afternoon is the worst part of this project. I did quit for a while and waited for the cool evening breeze. After the truck was unloaded, I spread the rocks evenly covering the black plastic entirely.

The next step in this project is not difficult. You will need a spade shovel, and a roll of hard black plastic trim for the edging of the rock garden. Put the shovel into the ground at least half way up the shovel end. Create a trench like line along the edge of the black landscaping material. After reaching halfway down the length of the house to the porch, I went back and inserted the edging down in to the trench, and stomped the ground next to the edging tight. Now my rocks will not slide past the edging and the black edging will line the grass perfectly.

After cleaning up the area of all my miscellaneous shovels and gloves, the rocks do look wonderful by themselves. Next spring I will be considering what types of planters or barrels to insert on the rocks for the real home-like feeling. Just imagine where your rock garden can go!

About the author:

Cheryl Lewis is a freelance writer, wife, and mother of three. She specializes in writing to meet the demands of business. For more information on Cheryl and her writing services visit http://home.att.net/~chlewis.

 
 
 

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