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October 10, 2011



Happy Thanksgiving! Yesterday was a gorgeous autumn day, warm sunshine and blue skies. On day two of the new bed construction, after an hour or so wrestling with the “small” rocks as Richard called them, I found I couldn’t work them in between where we’d placed the large ones, both because the small ones are still too big for me, and because the larger ones might as well have been cemented into the ground! So after he’d finished cleaning out his shop, Richard came back with the Bobcat to shift the larger stones and helped me with the jigsaw puzzle of laying out the remaining smaller rocks. I'm very particular about the placement, because I have half an acre's worth of evil quackgrass to contend with, and don't want to leave large gaps in my border to invite it into my new soil, yikes.

I love Richard because he always has the solution to a problem. At one frustrating point he left without a word and returned from the shop with a bright orange wedge of steel and a heavy mallet. And eye protection. I couldn’t really photograph it as I had to avoid flying chips of slate and granite, but he chipped and hammered away at any odd protruding spots until every rock fit into place as snugly as possible, and then he hammered the shards into the earth around or beneath to secure it even more. I can’t take any credit for this bed, really, as I couldn’t lift more than two of the rocks that made it!

I still have a lot of gaps to fill and smaller rock to set into place, but it’s complete enough to fill, as soon as I can get a truckload of earth. Up close it looks quite large and rough, but from a distance the rocks are only a third above the ground, even with my other beds, and inside it will hold fresh soil a foot deep, to be topped with a mulch of fine gravel. I’m hoping to get a few more sunny weekends or evenings this month so I can finish by transplanting all the lilies, irises, and other plants that need to be moved out of other beds, and still get some work on those beds done too. There’s a cold wind today – another frost on its way I bet – and a lot to do to put my autumn garden to rest for winter. But as a birthday treat I curled up with a book most of the day, my work on the new flowerbed finished, for now.

Rockery1.jpg Rockery2.jpg
Rockery3.jpg Rockery4.jpg

Posted by anita at 3:31 PM

October 9, 2011



To celebrate my birthday, I made a cheesecake, Richard made me a decadent prime rib dinner, and he agreed (with trepidation) to be my slave for the day to start a new project in the garden that I’ve been plotting for a while – which required some help from the Bobcat. This weekend is also the 7th anniversary of moving into this house, so we did the usual bit of reminiscing about all we’ve accomplished in seven years. We’ve got a reno project coming up in a month or so that will be another belated birthday present, and carry on our habit of renovating indoors in the fall once the weather chills, but first I have my gardening to finish. Here’s a look at what I’m up to. It was a great birthday, and I’m about to go outside and continue with my project.

DeadRose.jpgInspired by the death of a rose bush.

GettingStarted.jpgEnter Richard with the Bobcat and toothed bucket.

Digging1.jpgGoodbye to the dead shrub and quackgrass first.

Digging2.jpgIt'll match the bed on the west end of the driveway.

RockCollection.jpgWe collected rocks from the pile beneath the apricot tree.

NorthView.jpgHere they are in place, after much deliberation.

Henge1.jpgThe centre rock landed that way. Richard voted it stay.

Henge2.jpgNo big rocks left, so I’ll continue today with smaller ones.


And here was our dinner, after a good 5 hours moving rocks. I was so tired that I couldn't be bothered getting out my piping bag to decorate my cake, I just winged it with a spoon; the chocolate looked a mess, but it was tasty! Richard knows exactly how to indulge me on my birthday, thank you! Thanks everyone who phoned or e-mailed with birthday wishes. I’m hoping it will be a great year.

Posted by anita at 10:40 AM