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 Oct 3rd, 2008

Sandstone Slab Steps

2008
Oct 3

After a week of hauling sandstone slabs and ‘field’ boulders the new front walk and steps are taking shape at my latest project. It’s not even close to what I first visualized but then I never know what I’m going to end up with. The rock I find dictates what I do. My job is to listen to them when they suggest where they want to go. The big ones have a habit of pulling my chain though. I swear I can hear them laughing after working to place them in one spot and then finding out it doesn’t fit.

Loading a stone slab

My eyes are bigger than my truck.

Stone slab cut

Custom cut to fit – in the truck.

Stone slab steps

It’s just the beginning but so far my little Ford Ranger has hauled more than 10 tons of material to the site.  The heaviest load weighed in at 1480 pounds. No wonder both our backs are feeling bent out of shape.

8 Responses

  1. Grammy Says:

    Oh how wonderful they are. It is amazing that you can get them moved with out heavy equipment. I also understand the communication with rocks.. And how they bring peace and calm to the yard. Please be careful not to hurt your backs.

    Grammy,
    Yea it is amazing I can outsmart them. Sneaking up on them is easy but getting them on the truck is a different story. The big ones are real stubborn and I have to trick them in order to get them to move.

  2. Benjamin Says:

    That is pretty freaking impressive–but I bet you scratch off paint from your truck daily, right? I like that sidewalk your working on… looks like a stream bed in some ways, so I assume that’s what your going for. Enjoyed your wasp pics from earlier, too, since I’ve not been around for a while. I wouldn’t dare get close to them at any time of year, but sometimes I’ve got no choice in the matter–I just gots me too many plants in bloom.

    Benjamin,
    Believe it or not but I get more scratches on the truck when I park at the grocery store. The box has a liner and rocks slide nicely on it.

    The home owners said the same thing. It does have a stream bed look but if it was intentional it was unconscious although understandable. I’ve been walking the shore of the Raquette River and the landscape is ‘similar’. To make it more realistic though I would need hundreds of gallons of water per hour flowing over the steps.

    I liked the wasp eyes pic. It caught the moment I decided I didn’t need the bur cucumber photo that bad. Turns out I did manage to get a decent photo before I retreated from the swarm.

  3. jodi Says:

    First, sorry to be so long silent! It’s been a trying summer around my world, and i”ve missed my regular reads. Next, my back hurts just looking at those rocks, but if I had access to such awesome rock, I’d happily embrace a sore back.

    And lastly, Pretty Parker is just plain GORGEOUS! But then I never met a furbucket feline friend I didn’t love.

    jodi,
    Don’t be sorry or I have to be too. I’ve missed the rounds and just manage to keep up with those that leave a comment. I wouldn’t describe my summer as trying but it has been nuts.

    I’ll tell Parker you think she’s gorgeous but she’d be more impressed with some tuna juice 🙂 Got to love the furry purrbabies.

  4. Joy Says:

    Parker ? .. that is my brother’s name .. but I’m sure your Parker is much nicer ? LOL … Ok … the Ford Ranger .. my husband loves his Ford R. started with that and has graduated to Ford Edge … and now is looking at Ford F150 or if we win the lottery F250 ? haha
    I love those huge slabs of stone and the story of how much you little Ranger has hauled for you .. the sore back bit is a BIG ouch .. heating pad and lots of rub. A535 and our cats go wild for who ever smells like THAT ! haha

    Joy,
    Hope you don’t call your brother Pretty. I’ll stick with the Ranger – 4 cylinders is easy on gas and I’ll load more on my little truck than the ‘big’ guys would. (I have a 150 with a cap to haul plants)

    Yea the sore back has kept me away from the computer for a while. At the end of the day all I want is a hot meal and the couch. My cats go wild over tuna juice but I’m not going to rub it on my back.

  5. Billy Goodnick Says:

    I just found your site via a link at Kate Smudges and was drawn in by the name of your blog. Mine blog is named Garden Wise Guy, so I had to see what a Wise Acre was about. Good stuff here. I appreciate your commitment to scale when it comes to the sandstone slabs. Most people wimp out and try to make too many little pieces do the job. But there’s nothing like kicking the door open and making a big statement.

    I’ll be back for another peek when time allows. Thanks!

    Also, anybody who publishes photos of buffalo butts can’t be all bad.

    bg (alias gwg)

    GWG,
    Glad you found your way here. I knew who you were from visiting your blog during the winter. It was much the same reason – I needed to know what a Garden Wise Guy was. I was afraid you went around whacking plants or provided garden ‘protection’.

    I was afraid I’d do more than kick the door down on this job. I nearly busted through the front wall unloading one of those boulders. The big slabs do make a statement but I always thought they were calling me an idiot for attempting to move them.

    Someday I’ll post a pic of a horse’s a$$. I just need someone to take my photo.

  6. kerri Says:

    You’re quite the comedian, WA (I’ve been reading the comments) 🙂
    Just wondering what kind of tons you’re measuring in (1 ton = 2000 lbs). Not trying to be smart (gave that up long ago), just trying to save your back…they may not be as heavy as you thought. 🙂
    That sidewalk is going to be absolutely gorgeous. Sure wish we could have one like that. You do great work!

    kerri,
    1 ton = 2000 pounds in my figuring. Total lbs moved this year must be over 150,000. Getting older has taught me to use my head instead of my back. My head can take the strain since it seems to be made of rock.
    You can have a path like that. All you need to do is find an idiot able to covert your money into stone and move it to where you want. This is one of the nicest walks I’ve done – not the work but the sheer beauty of this stone’s colors really made it. I’m hoping to get more of this color and texture but it looks like it was only a small pocket and I’ll be back to the just gorgeous purple.

    The only reason people think I do great work is because no one else around here works with sex stones. When you compare natural stone with manufactured paver blocks my work is going to look better. A lot of real masons and other landscapes put me to shame.

  7. Kate Says:

    You do great work and you find great rocks! I envy you I wish I can go drive around Toronto and find me some really nice rocks/stone just like you 😀

  8. Mary Pyles Says:

    I have quite a few of these sidewalk rocks. People are interested in buying them. Can you tell me the value of each?