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Seashells in the Garden

Posted by MelanieV LongIsland/z6b (My Page) on
Mon, Jun 21, 04 at 9:54

Hi all! It's so exciting to be here!!!

Since we all garden near the coast I thought I'd share a new experience in the garden. Last year I fell in love with a crushed seashell walk at Peconic River Herb Farm.

Chris said she got it from Agway so I went to get some too. They called it chicken grit but no longer carry it. Even though the computer said chicken grit/crushed shells I got home and found I had 5 bags of tiny gravel.

My Mom is in Wading River and walks the beach every day. She and I have been collecting cockle shells. I scattered them in the path in a new herb/cottage garden I just put in. They're lovely! All pinks, creams and lavenders and best of all, the birds love them too!

As I walk on them (only downfall is no bare feet here) they are slowly crushing. The whole shells though hold tiny amounts of water after I've had the sprinkler on. Lots of butterflies taking sips. Lots of birds pecking on the shells and eating any flies or insects in the area.

It'll probably take all summer before we have enough down so that you don't see the ground underneath anymore but it's something to do when the kids want to go to the beach and I wish I was in the garden :-)

Melanie


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Seashells in the Garden

That's a nice idea, Melanie! I've saved a few whelk shells, which I keep whole as sort of ornaments - I put them on the stone borders of my gardens.


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RE: Seashells in the Garden

Melanie
That really sounds like a nice idea. I went to the Peconic Herb Farm, but didn't notice the shell walkway, I'm sure I'll be out there again before the fall, and I'll make a note to remember to look for it.
Alberta


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RE: Seashells in the Garden

My love and goal was always to have a seashell driveway like my neighbor but it gets expensive replacing it each season due to the snow. So the next best thing is lining our gardens with shells and using the larger varieties as accents on our porch & deck. I love shells- I hope to follow through this year and actually make some shell wreaths.

Enjoy- shells are beautiful! :-)


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RE: Seashells in the Garden

Alberta,

The seashell walk at Peconic River Herb Farm was towards the back of the property where they have a wrought iron gazebo. It's all crushed, and so pretty! I didn't know what it was, just that I had to have it :-)

Melanie


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RE: Seashells in the Garden

Melanie: That walk sounds wonderful (just no barefooting there).

I've been collecting crushed shells (the blue ones), any beach glass and tiny rocks from Pavilion Beach in Ipswich during our walks there. Am hoping to use them to mulch a small bed with shells and driftwood for "accessories".

Am also hoping the slugs won't like them and stay away from my hostas....I can hope, right?
Pam


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RE: Seashells in the Garden

slugs will definitely not like the seashells! Scratches up their bellies!


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RE: Seashells in the Garden

One of my neighbors is a scallop dragger, he gave me a bunch of really big scallop shells I have them laying around they look real nice.

Leasa


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RE: Seashells in the Garden

Thanks Melanie for letting me know where it is, :) No wonder I didn't see it the last time I was...it was a cold, dreary and rainy day in the early spring that I was there, so we didn't walk around too much. I'll check it out next time I'm there.
Alberta


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RE: Seashells in the Garden

What a wonderful idea! I live a mile from Sunken meadow beach, there are plenty of broken shells thetre! Is anyone SURE it's okay to take shells from state park land?


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RE: Seashells in the Garden

Jannie,

If it's not ok to take shells then I'm in big trouble. I've been collecting shells since I was a kid and my girls are doing that now. Haven't you seen people collecting shells on the beach? There's so many signs saying what not to do, but shell collecting isn't on them.

Bye the way, I did some searching on line. Shells are actually the exoskelleten of mollusks (think snails) The shells are all thats left, the mollusk creature has died so you're not removing a living animal. For that matter, when we find a shell with a living inhabitant we throw it back in to the water. As long as we don't pollute our water any more, the mollusks will continue to form shells.

Happy collecting and let me know how the shells are at Sunken Meadow, that's only 15 minutes from here.

Melanie (P.S. is there spell check here?)


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RE: Seashells in the Garden

Anyone been to Sanibel Island, Florida? I'm dying to go---supposedly terriffic shelling there!
Lynn


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RE: Seashells in the Garden

Ha! I knew I was missing good stuff when you guys moved here from the Metro NY forum :-(

Neat idea.


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RE: Seashells in the Garden

  • Posted by Donn_ Z 7, seaside,NY (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 26, 04 at 16:25

There are lots of uses of seashells in the garden. A bunch of large half-shells, like scallops and surf clams, make an attractive mulch, and don't leach too much calcium into the soil. Place them upside down, and they do a good job of suppressing weeds without keeping moisture out. Crushed shells shouldn't be used as mulch, unless the soil is extremely acid, in which case crushed shells will sweeten it up a good deal. Be careful with shell pathways in your garden, though. Unless you know you need to be liming your soil, they will easily over-sweeten adjacent soil.

Another interesting use for seashells is as a decorative veneer on just about anything. A modern version of "tabby," the ancient blend of lime, sand and shells as a building material, can be made with quick set mortar covered with crushed shells. You'd be amazed at how nice a concrete block can look when it's coated with such.

Another hardscape material that I gather nearby is beach gravel. It's nicely polished by tide and sand, and, once the salt is washed off, has lots of uses.


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RE: Seashells in the Garden

I made a shell wreath to hang on the side of our garden shed. I just hot-glued the shells onto a grape-vine wreath. Before I hung the wreath, I took some old torn-up fishing net (found in the trash at our marina and it fascinated me so I took it) and nailed that decoratively on the shed wall...then, hung the wreath off to one side over the net. I don't think the hot-glue will hold up over the winter so I'll tuck it inside. For right now though, I think it looks really pretty.


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RE: Seashells in the Garden

Melanie
I just wanted to share with you that early this evening, I passed a house with mounds and mounds of red impatients, looked very lovely, but what also caught my eye was they had clam shells mixed in the beds, they might have been painted because they were so very white, but it all came together so pretty. I might get the chance to speak to the owners eventually as my best friend lives on the same street and these people do a huge Christmas display for the local residents, if so I'll post here.
Alberta


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RE: Seashells in the Garden

I've grown plants in seashells..... my grandmother loved the ocean and collected tons of seashells so at her small graveside garden I have some seashells with various things like thyme spilling out...... I've never heard of the shell walk before but it sounds like a nice idea..... colored stones and the glass sound even nicer if you could collect enough...... the shells would be a bad idea for me..... always barefoot..... :)


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RE: Seashells in the Garden

Melanie - I just came across your comments about crushed seashells and I thought I'd let you know what I've found out about them. Several years ago I decided I wanted to line my vegetable garden path with crushed seashells so I called just about every nursery on Long Island, even ones in the Hamptons because I had seen crushed seashells on driveways out there, but no one had any. My family has been vacationing on Cape Cod since I was a kid and I remembered seeing alot of them there. So the next time my family and I went out to the Cape I did the same thing, I called all the nurseries in the phone book and some of them sold crushed seashells! They don't sell them in bags though, so I needed to buy garbage cans or bins in which to bring them back home. Also since we were on vacation, we didn't have enough room in our car for all that. But now I'm ready! The next time we go back to the Cape I have my bins ready and plan to bring back plenty of crushed seashells! Hopefully this summer!


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RE: Seashells in the Garden

  • Posted by KWoods Cold z7 Long Is (My Page) on
    Tue, Feb 1, 05 at 11:03

I think crushed oyster shells can still be had at Agway and most other feed suppliers. It's added to chicken feed for calcium/grit. I got some at the Agway in Huntington last summer for the "floor" of a little japanese garden room my wife made. You may want to tell them what you're using it for so you don't just get grit which is more crushed. Keep in mind it will alter the ph of surrounding ground to some degree. I wonder if you could get it from Flowers and Sons oyster farms in Oyster Bay, or even a local seafood supplier?


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RE: Seashells in the Garden

Someone else had also told me about getting crushed shells from Agway but I thought the Agway in Huntington went out of business. Can you tell me where it's located so I can give them a try? Also, the fact that the shells will change the soil ph is actually good since LI soils tend to be acidic and I end up adding lime to my garden anyway. I just won't need to add as much. Thanks!


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I bet Jingle shells would look awesome sprinkled in a garden!


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RE: Seashells in the Garden

  • Posted by KWoods Cold z7 Long Is (My Page) on
    Thu, Feb 3, 05 at 9:56

nangel, I think you might be right.
I have not been there in over a year now. I know there is still one on John St. in Hicksville
Hicksville Agway


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RE: Seashells in the Garden

My driveway is about 200 ft.long and it is completely covered with crushed clam shells,they are white in color and with the dark green grass and white house in the background it really sets the property off. They're are lots of seafood processors down in my area and I buy them by the dumptruck load.All of my garden beds in the front of the house are lined with whelk shells,some people also call them conch.I went to my secret spot on the beach the other day and came back with a FEW more shells to line some garden beds in the back.Down this way it is unlawful to use oyster shells anymore because they use them all for the oyster beds.I would think with all the clams that are processed up your way you should be able to buy them by the truckload.


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RE: Seashells in the Garden

Thanks KWoods! I'm going to try the Hicksville Agway and if they don't have anything I think I'll give Flower and Sons in Oyster Bay a try! Thanks for your suggestions! nangel


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you can get all that you want from doxsee clams in pt. lookout. just be warned that they will smell for a while till they dry out and the bugs eat all the leftover stuff in the shells


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It's a suppose to be a nice weekend - good for shell picking! Bring your buckets! Enjoy!

:-)


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RE: Seashells in the Garden

Does anyone know of a place in California where I could buy bulk crushed clam shells?


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I'm looking for about 40 cubic yards of crushed/ broken sea shells to put down around my boat and for it's back yard driveway. I think it is fitting and will look nicer than RCA,Crushed cement" Any Direction to vendors would be useful. I'm new to this sight and have designed a waterfall that crosses over the stone padio back into my pool. 2,600 sq.' padio. the link below is my corp link and exibits control valves for water flow control.

Here is a link that might be useful: nelsoncontrols.com


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RE: Seashells in the Garden

I love the shell driveways in Florida. I don't live by the ocean, but when I visit, I bring back large shells that I use as edging for some of the flower beds. I keep the smaller shells as a display in old glass canning jars in my bathrooms.


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RE: Seashells in the Garden

Hi, all! LOVE all your ideas. Have an idea and wanted to see if anyone else did this. Am getting some old window frames-no glass and would like to put them on wood fence and hang 2 big clam shells that I saw at Hobby Lobby and maybe 2 large starfish (either fake or real if they hold up in the garden. Has anyone ever put these 2 "sea things" out in the elements?
Thanks


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RE: Seashells in the Garden

My Agway sells crushed seashells as grit for chickens by the bagful, 50 pounds I think. It might make a good base for other larger pieces of shells, but the pieces are pretty small.

I used to live near Cape Cod and many dirt roads were covered with broken guahog clam shells, white with a bit of purple on one side, tan lines on the other.


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