Rock on

Courtyard tree sheddingA spot of golden yellow before I launch into the subject of rocks. It’s my first task every morning: all the leaves into the bags and then trudge down to the wire cage behind the stables and add to my leaf mould collection.

I have been hard at work over the past two days scraping the drifting topsoil off the rocks around the house.   It’s a ruse to cut down on the strimming work for next year as they get choked with brambles and lush weeds.   And also to try and get the atmosphere of the garden onto a more balanced plane.   Grasses and rocks. Not a bad combination.   And it will mean less planting.   I know it sounds a bit pseudo zen right now but let me illustrate.

Before rock workHere are the rocks that line the path from the house and the barn towards the potting shed.   Covered in weeds and brambles.   And quite formless. The layer of soil isn’t very deep. So with a deft go with a trowel it’s easy to pull it off.   I will re-use the soil on the dry old Pennisetum bank, but right not it’s a work in progress.   I finished my first attack last night when it was too gloomy to see much detail. But I’m pleased with the first results.Calabert rocks

Calabert rocks detailHard to see clearly – I need to wait until we get a good soaking of rain to clear the rocks properly. Whenever that miracle will occur. (Don’t start me on the lack of underground water on this mountain right now.)

Working the rockThis little task actually started on what I call the walnut path: the track that leads from the courtyard and takes you up past two walnut trees and the edge of the barn to the road above the house.   Lots of rich and lush soil here to dig up.   I have no idea how far I can go with this rock clearing, but I have made quite a dent.   The soil from this area has gone to fill in the gaps that I have noticed (now it’s not the mad weed growing season) around some trees.   The first walnut tree up near the road has a beastly plunging gap; perfect for snagging the lawnmower and throwing out the back and brain.   working the rock 3