WiseAcre Gardens

north of the adirondacks – wildflowers & perennials that survive winters colder than my wife's feet

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Posted by WiseAcre on Jun 19th, 2009

Rippled Stone

Jun 19

I wouldn’t call rippled stone rare but you won’t find it easily. Every now and then a small amount gets pulled out of a sandstone quarry and I try to claim it before someone else does. It’s hard to imagine these ripples first formed millions of years ago by wave action on some shoreline and since that time have been set in stone.

The least I can do is return it to its natural habitat.

This is basically phase one of the Morley Library Raffle winner’s prize. I’ve removed the plastic ‘waterfalls’, the broken cinder block ‘rocks’ and leveled out the area. Now it’s time to play.

Garden Project

A good play day later.

Garden Water Feature

The rippled stone is in place and once again has the company of water.

Posted by WiseAcre on May 8th, 2009

Pond Garden

May 8

My pond garden gets a spring clean up. Finally.

Pond garden

Note the tree stump in the upper left hand corner – The Maple tree that is no more used to provide shade for my Ligularia and Jewelweed. I think the Ligularia will handle the extra sun but the Jewelweed is going to suffer. Not that that’s a bad thing – the Jewelweed sprouts everywhere and a little help controlling it is appreciated. Yea right – I’ve planted some Yellow Jewelweed seed I collected last year.

Garden Pond - Stone Wall

I want to do more of this. I just love a stone wall emerging from water. The Sweet Woodruff growing out of the cracks only ads to the charm.

Dry Stream Bridge

Stone bridge over the drainage ‘ditch’ along the driveway. All part of the plan to get the vegetable garden dry before the end of may. The crushed stone dry stream is also part of the ‘easy maintenance’ pond overflow.

There’s a dam at the end of the pond I lower to drain and flush the pond. One reason to drain the pond in the winter is to keep frogs from trying to overwinter in it. The pond is way too shallow (only a few inches deep) so before they start to think about burrowing in I drain the pond, forcing them to seek better shelter elsewhere. They don’t have far to go though, my plot is surrounded by swamp.

Stone Bridge

A look at another bridge in the ‘construction’ area. Where the hand dolly is laying was flooded not that long ago. The spring melt usually fills the area about 8 inches deep. I haven’t decided if I want to make it a permanent pond or put in a drainage pipe to carry the water away.

The wall will get done sooner or later. It’s just that I suffer from Shoemaker’s Syndrome. I probably would never have started but I came across some stone that I wasn’t going to let anybody else have.

Bubble Rock

I call this Bubble Rock. It has to be the only pieces of stone like this around. How it formed is a mystery to me but it’s mine, mine, mine. All mine. Those Jewelweed seedlings in the crack are mine too but they’ve got to go.

Bubble Rock

I guess the best way to describe it is it looks like half filled water balloons that hardened into multicolored stone. The sandstone quarry had never seen anything like it before and probably never will again. There were only a few pieces and I took them all. They just begged to be in a water feature and I couldn’t say no to them.

Posted by WiseAcre on Apr 30th, 2009

The Tale of a Rock

Apr 30

Sometimes I get carried away and when I do I usually haul away whatever inspired me to be an idiot. This rock caught my attention over 10 years ago and remains my favorite despite the tons and tons of stone that has passed through my hands. Not only was the rock memorable, the experience of hauling it away is something I won’t forget anytime soon.

Judy's Rock garden

I found the rock on a hillside pasture that was very rough and fairly steep. It was best left alone but the inner idiot in me had to have it.

First off it was partially buried and needed some shovel work to set it ‘free’. Then because of it’s odd shape getting it to stay on the rollers as I used a come-along to winch it up my makeshift ramps was nearly impossible. It would shift and fall off and took 3 attempts before I got it loaded. By then my poor truck didn’t look the same. It was old, the box was rusted and it had folded up like an accordion from using the tie down hole in the back corner as the anchor for the hand winch.

A unique boulder

Getting it loaded ended up to be the easy part. Now I had a rock weighing probably a ton and a half (if not more) on the truck in a rough field with a pretty good slope to get up. The high grass was still wet and my first try going uphill only ended with the wheels spinning. I had no choice but to go downhill to where the field leveled out enough so I could get a running start.

Second try – with my head bouncing off the ceiling of the cab I made it about a quarter of the way up. Third try – I backed up further on the flat and really hit the gas. OOPS only half way and a near concussion as the truck literally bounced in the air even with so much weight on it. I’m sure I heard something on the truck break but am afraid to look. Now I’m thinking it’s best to dump the rock, I’m never going to make it. The sensible thing to do would be to give up but no one ever called me sensible.

So on to the forth try – same effect but progress and hope, I made it almost all the way to the top. I’m not sure how many more attempts I made but I did prevail.

Judy's Rock

Now I’m on the side of the road and I take a look at the truck. Yep – something broke. A leaf spring had snapped. So now I have a crumpled box and a busted leaf spring. Considering how old the truck was and the poor shape it already was in I figured it was no real loss. The only other thing looking askew was the way the front end pointed skyward.

Smiling Rock

The couple of miles driving to town proved to be a little difficult. I swear the front tires left the ground when ever I went over the slightest bump. Steering was next to impossible. But I was committed now and had to press on. Speeding along at 5 miles per hour I made the distance to town in record time. I did worry about getting pulled over by the police but figured who ever stopped me would just stand there slack jawed while I made my escape.

Getting it off proved to be as hard as getting it on. It was a good thing I had more stubbornness in me than the rock had. Needless to say when it hit the ground – it was set. Good thing it landed in the direction I wanted it to face.

The Rock garden

In the end that rock killed my truck. The clutch had been fairly well burned up too in the effort. It limped around for a while longer as I looked for a replacement since it was just too old and beaten up (by me) to be worth sinking any more money into. The one thing I have to say – A little Ford Ranger can take a beating and really carries a load. Since then I’ve abused another 5 or 6 and they never complain.

I swear that rock has a grin on its face.

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