Sunday, December 9, 2007

A Snake In The Grass

What is normal? It was probably about 65 degrees today. It rained last night and this morning which is quite nice. It is settling the soil in the patio and washing the dust off the stones.

The wall looked much more fetching, more vibrant with color and texture this afternoon when I got started. That helps me at least be happier with a rockpodge wall instead of a fine store bought stone wall.

It is done for the most part. The top needs some fine tuning. At this point the stones are getting fussier about fitting into place and I have to try more stones to get one to work. Because it would be difficult to make it perfectly level I am considering doing a slight undulating wave on the top. In the course of my continuing chores I need to collect any thin flat stones I come across.

Big boulders are being placed in the transition zone from the patio to the natural slope. The patio floor level is about two to three inches below the top of the concrete footing for the post of the back stoop. The boulders will act as steps and landings coming off the patio.

I think I can take down my level line now and eyeball it from here.

But there is something else out there. Down in the crease of the sunny utility valley is a collection of parts. They have been calling out to me from the time they rolled down there, wanting to be put back together again.

When it rains hard enough water flows through this crease and the logical thing to do with these parts would be a dry stream bed, but the parts have been talking louder than that.

Maybe the half dozen Apple trees living on the far side of the crease that I have had intentions to kill are trying to talk through the stones and save themselves. "Look there is a snake in the grass."

Yes I think there is a disassembled snake down there. How could I kill all the Apple trees after that? It's too perfect a setup for a gardener's new Eden.

Can you see it, a snake in the grass?


chuck b. said...

I do see it.

Apple trees seem like strong assets--why do (or did) you want to kill them?

Christopher C. NC said...

The older ones are overgrown or fallen over. They are an unknown type. The smaller ones have to be seedlings from fallen apples, a double unknown. Apples are a high maintenance, high chemical dependent crop at least to my knowledge.

So I'll save a couple, do some research and see if I can get something from them organically. If not they are nice spring bloomers.

Anonymous said...

Pam @ Digging says:

Your wall looks great, Christopher. Thank god you didn't buy "fancy" store-bought stone. Part of the beauty of your wall is knowing that the stones came from your land.

Frances, said...

Oh yes, the snake has revealed itself. Thanks to the apple trees, now they must not be sacrified. The rockpodge is far superior to anything store bought. It is perfect. Finishing off the top seems to call for large flat stones, do you think? About the apple trees, how about some artistic pruning, to show the trunk angles? The whole picture is lovely.

Phillip Oliver said...

It is amazing to me that those rocks are dry stacked. You've done a wonderful job.

We had a record high of 76 yesterday. I hate it.

Anonymous said...

Pam @ Digging says:

There have been several posts about lifting and stacking stones lately, including one at Zanthan Gardens and one at Tom Spencer's Soul of the Garden. I thought of you when I read his poem about his father building a stone wall. You should check it out: Daily Muse. It's in the "Dec. 10 morning" post on that page.

Annie in Austin said...

It seems that once the leaves fall, the flowers withdraw and the bones of the gardens are revealed, we all want to see rocks, rock walls and now your rock snakes, Christopher.

If you put in some new apple trees, would leaving a couple of older ones help with pollination as well as look beautiful?

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Anonymous said...

Lake County Point of View

Trees of Antiquity

Heirloom fruit tree stock. Request a catalog. They are fantastic... I never knew there were so many apples and pears and nuts and...

The wall looks great.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

chris you must keep the apple trees. You don't have to spray them. Just let them bloom and produce apples. You can pick them and cut out the worms. They won't taste any different. The butterflies and other critters will enjoy any you leave behind.

They were definitely talking to you. Just as the stones did while you were stacking them. All seems happy there.

Wetting a patio or stone wall for a photograph shoot is an old trick. It sure does bring out the colors of the stone. When I am having a garden party I sometimes water my rocks. :) They show their colors so much better that way.

Anonymous said...

I second the others; the wall looks absolutely gorgeous and very authentic. I have never liked those "perfect" stone walls made from all those perfectly thin stones that to me are hardly better than flag"stone". They look so obviously store bought. You are lucky to have natural stones! And I can't believe how good a job you did for your very first wall. Now you can add that skill to your resume..... (:

Christopher C. NC said...

Thanks everyone for the compliments on the wall.

Intersting read at Tom Spencer's Pam. Serendipity over drive.

I think more like Hank. Remove anything that isn't right and replace with new. I will admit to having trouble with getting rid of all the Apple trees. I was waffling. I'll keep the best ones for now. If we don't have another Great Easter Freeze maybe by next fall I'll have an idea of what they are.

lisa said...

The wall looks terrific! I agree...remove what you don't want early in the game, so the stuff you DO want can get established sooner.