This garden rocks! Why? Because it has rocks. We love rocks here at Great Stems. They add character, they add unity, they can be used as benches or stepping stones, they edge garden beds, they prevent erosion, they support plants or other objects that need it, they fill up gaps in the plant areas, they make water features look natural, they provide shelter for little creatures, and they are just plain cool.
Take this fossil, for instance.
Or this giant quartz rock, of which we found two or three on the property. I guess it's quartz -- I'm not really up on my geology. I love the way it looks surrounded by pigeonberry.
A few days ago, I removed the massive dwarf papyrus from the pond, partially for aesthetic reasons and partially because it was working on creating several new root systems. But removing it also lets me show off what is perhaps my favorite rock on the whole property. It is this rock that earned our pond the name "Gator Pond."
The rocks forming the back wall of the waterfall actually look like the back of an alligator -- I forgot to get an angled shot to show you that a little better, but I'll do that another time. Now I just need to figure out where to put my dwarf papyrus.
Removing the dwarf papyrus also let us see our fish better -- they love to frolic under the waterfall. The waves don't make it easy to take a picture of the fish, however.
And of course, we love all the rocks forming our raised pond's exterior and falls.
Sand is basically pulverized rock, and here is a big pile of it. It might look like a sandbox, but it's the sand that was under our shed before we moved it on Saturday. The kids and the dogs have been playing in it. We'll be using this sand elsewhere in the garden.
And the dogs seem fine with the change in location of the shed. They chase one another around, past, and behind this shed. We moved the shed to make room for our next three raised veggie beds.
Here are some temporary stepping stones marking the path to the bench on the raised pond. At some point this will be a real path, probably made of decomposed granite.
We use some rocks to line paths and to edge garden beds. We also use them around the base of the little backyard trees in a lame attempt to keep the dogs from charging across and breaking the trees. It works as long as they don't get crazily energized in their playing. Here's a firebush and aloe in one garden bed. Ignore the weeds. I do.
And here's our newest addition, another find off of Craigslist (which is where we got the rocks for the pond). I stuck my foot in for a size comparison because this is one big rock, but I think it just managed instead to make my foot look big. I look forward to choosing plants to go around it.
And of course, our latest rock creation. Looks different without water flowing, doesn't it?
Notice the water is turned off now. Well, it's even worse than that. We had to dismantle it to figure out why the pump started screeching yesterday. Turns out the water was gone from the basin, and we checked it for leaks, but there were none. We thought that maybe an animal drank some of the water from the top and shifted the rocks covering the tube, causing the water to splash or spray out of the basin. Or maybe a visitor moved the rocks. Or maybe yesterday's downpour shifted something. In any case, now we're worried the pump might be damaged. Only ran one day, bringing our $40 fountain to about $60 if we have to replace it. So when we rebuild it tomorrow, we're going to have to be really careful that the tube cannot shift. I'm crossing my fingers that the pump is ok.
But what's odd is that next to the fountain is a little plant stub, the remains of my pineapple sage, as if it was chewed off. Do deer eat pineapple sage? Is it possible they licked at the running water and shifted a rock? And would they come that close to my front door, especially if there's so much water available around the neighborhood right now? It could have been broken by a human, but I couldn't find the rest of the plant, if so. A mystery!
So I still love my rock fountain, but I will love it more when we rig it so the tube is super secure. And I might need to place a sign that says, "Deer and humans, please don't touch! Our neighborhood deer can read, I'm sure. Or perhaps eat the sign, at least. And I'm by gosh getting another pineapple sage.