Stones in the Winter Garden

Winter allows the serene beauty of stones, whether purchased, native or man made ( a nicer term than fake), to reveal itself.
This is the stonework done by masons on the front of the house.

The moss that grows on the surface of our stones is intricate and diverse. This patch has dichondra, naturally occurring, growing within it. The host rock is from North Carolina.

Labels for those plants wanting labels were applied to rocks using fingernail polish. This is the name , Alberic Barbier, of the rose we call Killer that was growing on this arbor at the front of the house. It has been moved to the back clothesline pole and awaits a new arbor that can withstand its magnificence. North Carolina rock.

This is the type of stone that is embedded in the land here. Beautiful, yes, but not in the quantity to use for construction. They make nice accents when a larger one pops up. This is a larger one.

Moss and lichen find a good home on some old concrete block unearthed during garden digging. The blocks may have been part of a patio area as there were several of these found underground together.

My knot garden is edged in these old handmade bricks. The moss loves them so much it flowers. Some of these bricks are starting to crumble to dust and need to be replaced. Any ideas?

The steps we made to climb the slope face north and make a good home for ajuga along with the moss.

This is the block of the big wall behind the main house that holds up the slope. Sometimes potted plants are placed on top of this wall and must have some moss spores underneath. When the pot was moved, the moss was a pleasant surprise.

This stone face sits in one of the birdbaths. It must be made of some reinforced concrete to hold up to the frost and thaw of the water filled container in which it sits. The container must have some bonding agent in it also.

I collect ‘Green Men’. Few of these can endure the elements outside without protection. This one has weathered nicely, showing no flaking or chipping. It sits above a leaf sculpture I made that holds bird seed. The birds are accelerating the moss formation with their droppings. All a chemical process, I suppose. The moss formation I mean.

In wintertime these details are so much more noticeable than during the growing season. It is the growing season for moss. That is a plant that needs more research by the gardener. A good pursuit for this winter.
Pursuing knowledge,


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7 Responses to Stones in the Winter Garden

  1. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    OOoooo oooo oo o Frances, I just love rocks, moss and lichen. They are some of my favorite things.

    I have a book about moss gardens, _Moss Gardening including Lichens, Liverwortsland other Miniatures_ by GeorgeSchenk. It is informative and has lots of inspiration in it. I would really like to have a moss garden. It is very Zen-like.

    I think moss and lichens are so difficult to identify. There are so many types. Even when we travel I take pictures of the mosses etc we see. I have seen bright yellow, red. All very intersting.

  2. Frances says:

    Lisa, Thanks again for commenting. You must be an early bird like me. Some people look for ‘cures’ for moss in their yards, but I can’t get enough of it. Our whole property is a north facing slope and we must be acidic because there is moss everywhere. I love it too.

  3. Phillip says:

    I love rocks and statuary in the garden about as much as I love the plants. I’m always asking myself if I’ve gone overboard because I’m always adding more. Stacked rock walls are so beautiful. If you haven’t checked out the blog Outside Clyde, go take a look. Chris (the blogger) is building one.

  4. brokenbeat says:

    if you seek old bricks, head west ’round christmastime. the basement is full of them. lots of different colors as well. as for the mossies, i’ve been on a search down in the trenches for rocks bearing this tufty grower. sightings have been few, but have been. i’ll trade you old brick for mossies. eh?

  5. Frances says:

    Phillip….Thanks for commenting. Outside Cyde is in my list of Favorites, checked daily. We live near there and enjoy seeing how it is progressing with his efforts.

    brokenbeat…that trade is a go.

  6. Nan Ondra says:

    Lovely pictures, Frances. Yes, isn’t it amazing how many people fuss about getting rid of moss? That certainly doesn’t seem to be the case with many garden bloggers, though; many of us are delighted to admire each other’s mosses (and lichen and rocks too)!

  7. Christopher C. NC says:

    When it comes time to build the stone posts for my front gate I will be moving in the direction of that first picture of the stone mason’s work, a more formal look. I can’t get that gorgeous though. It may not blend with the other stone work going on in the garden.

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