Ah, Big Rocks.....sorry, I just waxed a little sentimental there, dreaming of the days when loads of them were dumped off here. Ah, the joy of scrambling amongst the piles and imagining what they will look like in a new project. But, alas, we have no more big rocks left to place, and we're both having a bit of trouble with withdrawal. They truly are addictive, just like potato chips, you can't stop at just one.
|Memories, like the Corners of my Yard, Misty Watercolor Memories, of the Piles We Had....(C'mon, sing along, you know this one.)|
But I interrupt this glorious remembrance to haul us back to the present and the other project we have had lurking in the shadows which we should be working on, the dreaded Stone Round House/Ruin/Thing. Do you see all those smaller rocks at our feet in the picture above? When you get Big Rocks dumped out of a dump truck they clunk together and that's where Small Rocks come from. (You knew where babies come from, so now I'm telling you the Facts of Life as it pertains to limestone.) So, take roughly 800 tons of big rocks, and you'll end up with around 100+ tons of small ones, it's amazing how they multiply. And what would you do with those rocks? Well, if you were me you would suggest to your charming husband, "Let's use them to build a little stone cottage," and then your nightmare would begin.
|Big Rocks making Little Rocks as they come out of the truck. Circa 2009|
|Here's some of the 200 pallets of smaller rocks leftover after pulling apart the dump truck loads of rocks to get the big ones out. This picture Circa 2005 (and yes, we loaded all those stones by hand)|
It would be easier to put clothing on these rocks than it is to make them flat or fit where they're going, but we plow on, whacking and cracking for hours on end. Which, by the way, is no fun in the hot, hot sun, so we normally only work on the Stone House when the weather cools off in the fall and again in early spring before the garden work takes all our time. Mortar is a touchy thing too, and should not freeze for some time until it has cured, so we have to time our rock work with the weather, too, and of course, you can't work with mortar in the rain, either, so there's all sorts of variables.
We have a 'thing' about starting new projects when there are old projects waiting in the wings, but this is the way it goes around here due to the nature of the work and Mother Nature, too. We now have half of the wall done in the Formal Garden, but have abandoned that project to go back to the Round House which has been sitting neglected since we poured the floor in 2005.
2005! Egads, I was racking my brain trying to figure out what we've been doing for the last six years, and did come up with a plausible excuse. The floor was poured in July 2005. But then we had to get ready for a really big garden walk from Green Bay, so the round house was put on hold as we worked frantically on getting the garden looking the best it could before July of 2006. As soon as the big garden walk was over (800 people in two days with 100 degree temps, fun, fun) we yanked out all the trees behind the Quarry and built the North Hill which took another two years (2007) and then since we had leftover big rocks, we built the West Hill and then the East Hill (2008) and then our furnace died in 2009 so we put in geothermal and the Pachyberm and then the Something Else beds (2009-2010). That's where we spent the last six years. Phew, so that's where the time went. I thought we were goofing around or something.
|Garden Cottage at Green Bay Botanical Garden|
Then there's a little silo we drive by on a regular basis near here that always caught our eye, too.
Not the greatest picture of the silo, either, but they had machinery parked in front of it and we were on the road. There's just something about the little, round building that always appealed to me. Growing up with silos on the farm however, taught me one thing, they are dark and damp....and if we only put three round windows in the building, that's what our structure would be, too. So, more thinking is in order and probably, more windows. Windows that open (and close, hopefully) and a different type of roof and on and on. I think the cottage at the botanical garden was built the same way as the silo above, they poured cement walls and faced the cement with stone. Much faster than our silly two foot thick solid stone walls that take an inordinate amount of fussy time.
And of course, where would we be on this job (or any of the huge projects) without Joel. He was manning the mortar mixer all weekend, helping us out as he always does, with his quiet patience and strength. As always, we owe him so much for his devotion to the garden.
We ended every night this weekend with a campfire, just sitting around talking and eating and having a good time, still all dusty from the day's work.
After the company left last night, I sat by the waning fire listening to the cricket chorus and a hoot owl off in the Back Eight trying to scare up some supper. This place is a lot of work, but it is worth it. We don't get away from here real often to 'go up North and sit by the lake' but we have our little Quarry Puddle which is north of the house so hey, it works.
Toss another hunk o' wood on the fire, would you? It's getting a little chilly.