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What are Gardeners to Rocks and Mountains?

Posted Apr 13 2010 8:02pm

This gardener is a committed plant-lover, but I confess to falling head-over-heels for boulders lately (my apologies to Jane Austen for misquoting her in the title - are you a fan, too?). The attraction isn't hard to figure out. In Spokane, most of my favorite plants are fair weather friends. But stones strut their stuff even in the coldest, stormiest weather. That's why I included a dozen boulders (plus all the flagstones) in the new front gardens.

The photo above shows my favorite - a basalt column. It will look better with plants billowing about, but I like it even now. I thanked my husband for buying me a big, pretty rock that I don't have to wear on my finger and that I won't have to worry about losing.

We bought the stones from Sunrise Ridge Rock , a local landscape rock company. My children and I had a grand time discovering the different types of stone at their rock yard. It was like a strange farm, with rows and rows of giant boulders growing instead of crops. We gathered a few bumps and scrapes before deciding to just look at the rock piles instead of trying to climb on them.

After a considerable amount of hemming and hawing, I picked the perfect boulders for our yard. I had brought samples of our stone facing to make sure they blended together. I found basalt with shades of grey, rose, plum, brown and orange.

Above is a shot of some adorable miniature daffodils ('Small Talk') and blue-violet chionodoxa with the stone facing on the house in the background. You can see how well the colors of the stone facing work with the colors of the boulder in the picture below. Bingo - finally a piece of the project that turned out just right.

I love these boulders in the sun or in the rain, and I bet they'll be lovely in the snow. Hopefully some of them will gather moss eventually (funny, the stones with moss or lichens already growing on them were three times as expensive at the rock yard). I've complained before about all the river rock that keeps coming out of my flower beds (apparently this area used to be a river bottom), but now I'll have some rocks to gush over.

So, are you in love, too?
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