Landscaping with river stones

If I had to give you two words to describe a garden design that incorporates river stones in a rural landscape I offer you this :

High maintenance.

Annoying and fiddly high maintenance. They look gorgeous when you have to give yourself an edge between the hard landscape of (say) a deck and a lawn.

But that gorgeous look will last only as long as you don’t have a tree, random leaves, the chance of drifting dirt, or even a rather boisterous cat.

You cannot keep them pristine.

Even with a weed-roof barrier underneath, things will self-seed.

If you are lucky you get verbena. But mostly it’s weeds of the very unwanted variety. And they are a devil to get out.

That said. I have just about finished putting back the whole pile of the stones on two edges of this garden deck.

Etienne rebuilt the wooden side which had succumbed to horse and gravity.

We actually used a large concrete beam underneath the deck this time. But it took enough careful work that I was able to nip in and do a thorough weed-roof barrier underneath. Two layers. Weedproof fabric and then the offcuts of the last pool cover.

Thick and solid. Take that bindweed roots.

And once I had managed to get the cat out from underneath, on went the wood.

I must nip out and take a shot of the finished product.

It’s raining today for the first time in weeks (well, if you discount snow days which also give much needed moisture to the soil) so this is going to be a fast damp run to the end of the garden.

And the only way I have found to clean all the stones which get grubby is to shove them in buckets, pour on water, don the big gloves and swirl about like mad.

Golly, I appear to have a bucket habit.

At least I don’t have annoying habits that were exhibited by the animals yesterday. Escaping horses which ended up raiding all the food in my neighbour’s barn.

Who? Me?

And then The Creature who insisted in trying to follow me on my walk.

It’s a good thing the traffic is on the ‘light’ side on our mountain. She would have gone all the way around (5kms) if I hadn’t got cross and walked her back. I wouldn’t mind if she kept up; but she keeps leaping off into every ditch and culvert along the route.

Beyond tedious.

But not as tedious as washing river stones.