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Those who follow this blog know how much I love rock, boulders, stones, and pebbles. For nearly twenty years, I have resided on a half-acre in the foothills of of the Blue Ridge, USA.
Back in 2001, I only had one option when shopping for a home. I knew where I wanted to buy, but had no options. The house I bought was a badly neglected, twenty-eight YO fixer-upper. The gardens were non-existent, yet I had to relinquish my farmhouse rental in thirty days. This blog has recorded my ongoing projects, mostly DIY, requiring all of my coping and problem-solving skills.

As mentioned afore, this property is sloped on one end creating many challenges and solutions for erosion control. Over and over. Two steps forward, one step back…for nearly two decades.

Lower patio area

Lower patio area prior to major storm erosion. Replaced mulch and rosemary with pea gravel, peonies and rock.

During summer when temps rise quickly, morning chores begin before the neighbor’s rooster calls. As heat and humidity rise, I default indoors for most of the day. YouTube provides hours of informative content regarding gardens, history, and fabulous inspiration. Standing stones are often discussed when visiting the UK, and I took them to heart when arranging found rock on my wee property.
For years, I gathered rock and stone and hauled it home. Concrete paths and stoops were jack-hammered out, replaced with purchased boulders for both front and rear access.


Front boulder at door. All beds in this photo are changed entirely.


Today’s view of house front. See my hanging chad bay window? So glad to have calm in that bed. What do you think of a large planter under the bay filled with ferns?


The front path today…rain runs through it smoothly, leaving the path in tact. My hands and knees are really getting a workout this summer to keep weeds at bay!


I even add pebbles to decorative planters around the property. Tending live container plants is too labor intensive, and I love the look of pebbles. “Rock is forever” is my mantra.


Even wee Carolina wrens love bathing in this shallow saucer, adorned with a stone I carried back from New Mexico.


This is a winter shot of the front bed where I divide the turf from the mulched bed with river pebbles. During the growing season, this divide requires some weeding, but is effective and slows down water during heavy rains.


This was also a wash area every time it rained. So gravel was the answer. One heavy rain since placement confirms its success. Gravel will continue to replace mulch where ever it is appropriate. What took me so long???


Anywhere there is mulch, I tend to stabilize with found rock. Up till now, I usually placed rock flat. NOW, thanks to standing stones inspiration, I am retracing my rock edging. By digging a small trench where the stones lay, I reset them standing. This gives more of an edge, slowing water and keeping mulch in place. Voila!


These beauties did not require much standing, yet do a great job.


Just trenched and upright as of this morning, water will slow down and mulch will remain where I placed it. All these hostas were removed in 2019. Too much sun and they burned. As a trade for digging, one area resident with a shady garden is in heaven. 


One upright stone in the peony bed does a splendid job (combined with others along this sloped bed edge) and slows down rushing water. My own standing stones here at Swallowtail Cottage. 


Along the back foundation bed, a wider swath of pea gravel combines nicely with smaller “standing stones” to slow water. Turf one side, mulch the other.


With an occasional blower sweep along the rocks and a strim from the Grass Hog, mulch remains mulch and turf remains at bay…all being very tidy. You like?


This garden plaque says it all.

As I now sit in my pleasant air conditioned cottage during the hot July afternoon, all aches vanish from the hand and knee weeding/toiling of early this morning. Sharing my garden success with readers and fellow gardeners brings endless pleasure. Are you inspired?

Gardens are for sharing and I hope you enjoyed being a vicarious visitor. Let me know what garden projects you are undertaking.

Keto followers: End of month three and my IF is going great and for longer time. In fact I now go out early AM without eating and do plenty of garden chores before retreating from summer heat. IF has raised the bar for energy levels. WaHooWa!

Have you learned anything today?

Copyright © 2019 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved