Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Cheyenne Botanic: Rock on

Briliant Day 4 at Cheyenne Botanic:

Using a Sky Track Telescoping forklift (AKA dinosaur machine scorpion) with outriggers to deliver mixture far into the crevice bed.

I find that with every passing year of experience building rock gardens, 
my skill at estimating yardage and tonnage gets worse.

 A nod to the czechs and a generally good way to keep construction holistic:
Using a compass to orient the vertical crevices.
ZZ opines that linear stratification is only for sedimentary stone; but this volcanic stone naturally breaks off with a cleavage which is not technically strata, but still linear. 

Orienting pooches with treats.

I made intentional disparities with some big rocks to resolve with small rocks. Trying something new.

I tell ya, you really don't need sedimentary/metamorphic-layered stones like sandstone, slate, or limestone, to make crevice gardens.  I'll let you know when all is done, but I seriously think this, to work with, might be my new favorite stone of all time.  It has pink inclusions in the purple-blue, and we've been finding fun dendrites and glistening iron pyrite (fool's gold!) on some of the big rocks. 

A mix of sizes is critical.  Medium to  Large here.
 Toss in a little (and yes, actually just tossing it) small, varied bits immediately, staggeringly, sets it off to looking like a real rock outcrop. Tertiary cleavage was totally accidental: the lines you see running from upper left to lower right. They are an accidental result of having worked on a primary (at approx. 10 degrees NW orientation, pointing toward the viewer) and the secondary, approx. 50 degree angle of steep "cliffs" facing you.  Somehow this third angle showed up; perhaps it is born of the stone's internal (crystalline?) structure?

Primary/compass orientation is easy to see from above.

But we spent most of the day nearly finishing the satellite patch of crevice on the other side of the entry- to the right of the front doors and visible from the inside of the Orangerie; a dazzlingly-lit beautiful, rentable new space at Cheyenne Botanic.  The beautiful old production greenhouse, under current renovation, seen in the left background.

There's been another thing I'm doing differently. It's practical:  In order to get the right sizes of rock delivered to everywhere on the rockery, we've simply been dumping mixed-sized loads of rock on the very top of the half-made crevice garden.   This way, I have a pile on top from which to distribute: to bar. drag, and heave wherever I need it, which is always downhill! 

But perhaps more importantly, aesthetically, I've been channelling Susan-in-the-Pink-Hat's observation that there is much to be learned about a stone by the way it lands when it is piled or dumped. Certain natural angles of repose, like mineral tarot cards, reveal hidden secrets.  Many times, a stone has just landed in a fantastic way that I would not have though to place it.  So I work with that.

Charlotte was on front desk duty today.

1 comment:

Susan in the Pink Hat said...

Yeah, agree about the need for a mix of sizes. I've missed having large boulders in my own build. I'll have to rely on plants to knit rocks together to create a monolithic look.