Mending Wall

Have you noticed that I always have either a bee ON my bonnet or a bee IN my bonnet about something?

This week, I am obsessing about rocks. This leaves William glad I am not obsessing about weeds.


Or mulch.

No, this week’s garden obsession is rocks.

I’m working to fix the stone walls in our entrance courtyard. These walls were built with rocks found in our hedgerow. On most farmland around here, this would mean plenty of rock to chose from. However, years before we moved here, our neighbor Teddy got permission to harvest rocks from our hedgerow from the previous owner for a beautiful wall at her house.

Our stonewall courtyard was built from leftover rocks after her harvest. I can remember the man who built her wall driving a truck up and down our field (well before I knew it would be our field). He dragged a sledge behind the truck heaped with perfect, thin, flat, big rocks.

His wall is a wonder. I enjoy looking at it every time I go to Teddy’s house. However, his work meant small chippy sorts of rocks were all that were left for us to use. That and boulders.

Ben did a great job building the wall with what he could find, but whenever dogs or anyone else leaps on the wall, it crumbles and slides. This is because big flat rocks to set across its width to anchor it together were unavailable when he was building.

Ben went on to build other walls with better rock. He built a long wall at Lynn’s, for example. She reports that nary a rock has moved. Snowplows, dogs, donkeys, and grandchildren have done no damage.

Tired of periodic collapses as well as the cluttered look of small stones on the top of wall, I asked a neighbor with literally miles and miles of rock walls, if we could harvest some perfect, thin, flat, big rocks from his walls to fix our wall. The golden words that fell from his lips were, “Take whatever you want.” This was, of course, music to my ears.

Here we are harvesting.


Here’s one stretch of the wall in question.

In the foreground is one of the parts of the wall that I have rebuilt with bigger rocks. About halfway down begins the part of the ring left for me to rework.

As I replace the little rocks with bigger rocks, there are lots of leftover little rocks. I am leaving them there for now because sometimes they are needed as chocks for the bigger rocks. I will probably try to finish this section today, leaving the inner ring around the pool to rebuild next.

Last night, a rock goddess inspected the first part of my rebuild. It seems to have passed muster.

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