Return to the Alpines & Rock Gardens Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
The Rock addiction: A cautionary tale

Posted by BiggerDiggler zone 5 (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 30, 12 at 15:55

I am posting the following as a warning, a cautionary tale of the depths of depravity that this here innocent-sounding Rock Garden business can lead. I hope that by recounting my miserable story, others will avoid the same sad and terrible fate.

I have 6/10 of an acre. When we moved here, there was not a raised bed in sight. Now only a few square feet of lawn remain. There are now two smaller finished ponds surrounded with rock gardens, and we are now working on the "Mother of All Ponds" in the back yard. It is 60 feet long, 35 feet wide by 10 feet deep. It will have two gigantic waterfalls plunging into each end, roaring down the 30 foot "mountain" behind it. They are fed with two gigantic 9000 gph pumps. The excavator removed the dirt and built the 30 foot mountain behind the pond, and brought in two dump trucks full of large boulders to surround the pond. Nothing wrong with this part. This is all within the normal range of human behavior. My description of the despair and degradation is contained within the following paragraphs.

We have also brought in 70 trailer loads of granite boulders with a tandem axle car trailer, which now suffers from a bent axle housing. We loaded them all by hand with a Harbor Freight 700 hundred pound capacity handcart (we have brought back 3 absolutely-mangled ones for replacement, and now have "rebuilt" one entirely for rock hauling. On a handcart that cost brand new $45 we have spent around $150 installing heavier duty wheels, tires and axles, as well as having the frame beefed up by a custom metal fabricator) and a heavy duty wheelbarrow that is on its way to the fabricator to be similarly beefed up. That will turn a $20 Craigslist buy into a $200 or so heavy duty one.

We have built around 20 raised beds with granite boulders that covers most of the property that is not covered with ponds. We blew the rear-end out of a Ford F-150 3 or 4 times overloading the trailer with boulders, and now have TWO (TWO!!!!) Heavy Duty 3/4 4x4 trucks to pull the trailer. One has a big block chevy 454 and the other a Ford 460. They are ravenously hungry for gasoline. They are both getting airbags for the rear axles, helper springs, anti-sway hitches. We are now installing heavy duty disk brakes on all four wheels of the trailer, as well as installing heavier duty axles and and axle housings. We have destroyed 4 high-lift ranch jacks, four floor jacks, and at least 6 hydraulic bottle jacks raising up gigantic boulders to mortar them into place. We have blown up 6 brand new tires on the trailer in two years.

Two weekends ago, we found a farmer with manure to spare and rented two gigantic dump bed trailers and hauled 75 yards of composted manure. After reading Ruth Stout's books, we have hauled in two tons of hay and are planning on hauling in 140 bails this weekend (4 tons). We bought 200 knockout roses two weeks ago, now our property rose total is around 750. We have hauled around 125 yards of compost in the last two years for the roses.

They have been rebuilding the north/south highway about 10 miles from here and have unearthed thousands of gorgeous speckled-granite boulders. We have hauled about 20 trailer loads out since June. We spend our summer weekends in hot, filthy locales, sweating like swine loading 500 pound boulders to exhaustion, and then placing them around the property with the handcart.

I feel like my story may be helpful to others in avoiding the same fate. If you see yourself heading in the same direction, please I beg of you, stop yourself now. There is help out there.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: The Rock addiction: A cautionary tale

  • Posted by botann z8 SEof Seattle (My Page) on
    Sun, Sep 2, 12 at 7:16

And I thought I had it bad!
Here's the beginning of my rock garden ten years ago.
It's due for a major renovation this winter. The rocks are fine, but it has gotten overgrown over the years.
Mike
Start of rock garden


 o
RE: The Rock addiction: A cautionary tale

Bigger Diggler, WOW...What a story! Any fotos?

~AL


 o
RE: The Rock addiction: A cautionary tale

Dang! And I thought I was in deep. You are my hero!

So, where's the highway work with all the nice boulders? New England, by any chance?


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Alpines & Rock Gardens Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here