|One of the rock gardens,|
looking down toward
The fifteen degree slope behind the house was deemed inherently unstable. After rejecting one contractor’s suggestion of a retaining wall, we set out to find a less ecologically intrusive solution. We wanted something that would hold the soil in place yet not interfere with our view of Danielson Pond. More important than just a view, Danielson Pond is part of a conservation district and watershed from which the town draws its drinking water. Our goal was zero emissions - fertilizer, soil, plants - into that watershed. We also wanted something that would provide visual interest from our back windows, deck and porch. We wanted something that would be low maintenance. We settled on a rock garden. And, as Meat Loaf opined, two out of three ain’t bad.
|In its May and June glory,|
the rock garden is awash
|These Siberian iris were in|
bloom under the oak leaves.
The result of this labor is striking. On the Friday before we began uncovering the rock garden, the back of the property was a solid, undulating mass of brown. Even the basic contours of the garden were masked by the carpet of matted leaves. This morning, the rock garden is plainly visible, the intricate walls and terraces still in place despite a winter of frost heaves. There were even surprises: blooming under the leaves were miniature iris and blue and yellow primrose.
|An overview of rock gardens 1 and 2.|
But those are issues for another weekend. For now, there is the contentment of a spring chore crossed off.