Connecticut’s Best Crop! … Stones in your garden

Posted by Growing Solutions

Ridgefield, is well named – it is a field of Ridges. With roads tellingly named Ledges, Limestone and Stonecrest. Wilton and Newtown road names also tell us what to expect when
we start out to garden, Key Rock Road and Granite Drive should give all gardeners pause.
What to do with all this rock? Plenty. Consider it a gift. Stepping stone paths, stone walls, natural patios, decking for the pool are just the start.

Harvesting the rock from your land should be done with great care. If the rocks are sitting on the surface and ‘man moveable’, then have at it. Relocating and re-purposing these rocks can add great beauty and function to your landscape and gardens. Rock ledge removal and repurposing requires professional help and often a permit from your town.

A few things to be careful about, before digging anywhere on your property, (especially if you have hired help or rented an excavator), you must Call Before You Dig. This is a free service provided by our local utilities, a technician will come to your house and mark the ground with spray paint to indicate where underground utility lines run so you can steer clear of them when digging. The phone number for Call Before You Dig is 1 (800)922-4455.

blog-2You will also need to know where the water, septic, drainage and irrigation lines are on your property as well. And, don’t forget the underground dog fence!
Historic fieldstone walls are protected by the law and cannot be dismantled and repurposed. There are plenty of rocks around to allow us to leave our old walls, with their beautiful patina, in place.

Once you’ve determined it is o.k. to dig up your rocks, you will need to take steps to protect them. That’s right, protect the rocks. Shovels and excavators will scar rocks, often leaving un-attractive white gashes. Rocks removed with excavators should be dug out, hoisted out with straps. If they do get scarred, rubbing dark top soil into the gash can disguise the mark and help it to regain its patina.

 

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The project shown above started with a few stones from the garden, and the we brought in more locally sourced granite slabs for a natural stepping stone walkway.
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Simply placing stones along a slope and planting a rock garden is a functional and beautiful use for the stone found in your landscape.  Rocks correctly placed can hold soil and prevent soil erosion, allowing you to plant on otherwise too steep a slope.  

 

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We have even used stones we’ve found to build a bridge. It’s great fun to walk over the stone bridge. And, unlike a wooden bridge no need to worry that it will wash down stream.

These projects require very little cutting of stone. For walkways, patios and steps hiring a professional can ensure a safe and comfortable walking surface. Our mason’s chip and cut stone to ensure they are level and relatively smooth, to prevent tripping.

 

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We’ve even made stones fly!  This stone was on the wrong side of the house, so we used a crane to lift it up and set it down into a contemporary Asian themed garden.  

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Use your imagination, create something with your best crop!

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