Sunday, April 17, 2011

Gardening: Rock Walls

"...Something there is that doesn't love a wall, that wants it down..." -Robert Frost, Mending Wall

Every spring it's the same thing: walk around the yard, rebuild the rock walls. Snow and freezing cause the rocks to shift. Dogs and children can't resist walking on them. Plant roots pop up. Heavy rains wash them down. The cycle of rebuilding the many rock walls that surround our raised garden and flower beds is a never ending chore for which there is no technological solution that I can see.

"...The gaps I mean, no one has seen them made or heard them made, but at spring mending-time we find them there..." -Frost (Again)

The good news, however, is that where I live Mother Nature has provided an endless supply of material to build and rebuild with. Anyone in my vicinity who has tried to plant a lawn or install an above ground swimming pool will testify to the intrusion of what the locals call "Pocono Potatoes." These flat stones that magically grow up from the ground year after year make lovely stone walls, and they are usually a size that even I can manage. As usual, what most people consider a hindrance, I consider a blessing.

I will probably continue to blame the yearly near-destruction of my stone walls on my own failing as a mason. I will also, however, keep rebuilding the walls each year as long as I am able. It is good exercise for the body and mind, and maybe one day I will learn the secret to a sturdier wall. Either that or I will learn a lesson of acceptance of whatever it is "that doesn't love a wall, that wants it down."

My Bulb Garden, and Its Failing Wall

No comments:

Post a Comment