Monday, November 21, 2016

Planting Stone with Art City

Ramon checking out the rocks

Stone is often an overlooked resource in Permaculture.  It's hard to compete with butterfly sanctuaries,  or bio-dynamic wine, but, if you slow down for a moment, you'll see the subtle beauty and value of rock.  Stone adds strength and longevity to a rich and powerful garden aesthetic.  We had the opportunity to put this resource in the limelight in our latest project.  We called on the help and experience of Art City's master stone-workers to create a drought tolerant landscape that put stones front and center.

We started with laying out a sand-set flagstone pathway.  The permeable surface adds a clean earthy look and is functional for foot traffic, golf carts, and wheel barrows.  Along the edges of the pathway we build passive irrigation, directing any rainwater run-off to planting areas.

Kevin installs the smooth stones

Ramon and Kevin are both rock monsters.  They've carved jellyfish out of translucent Calcite, and dragon guitars out of Onyx.  Working together they created a pattern in the flagstone pathway that is stunning.  With the help of Jason making the cuts and Weston leveling and setting stone, the pathway became a focal point of the area.

Paul and Laurie unload the peak stones

Paul, founder and operator of Art City, chose three feature stones for the main planting area in the front entrance.  They became the canvas for a stone garden that featured local boulder stones placed in contours tan Decomposed Granite and California Gold crushed rock.  Sparse natives, succulents and grasses framed the garden that reflected the mountains on the horizon.

It's like 8 tons of Tetris

We strive to compliment nature

We also created a dry river using small and medium sized river rock. and a zen garden around a small water feature.

Getting ready to plant around the water feature

Not only is stone a striking and lasting way to add beauty to a landscape.  It is also a life giver and protector.  Stones wick water from the air and direct it to the earth around and underneath where they rest.  Take the time to notice how life revolves around stone, and you'll be amazed at how simple and obvious it is.

Jason makes it all happen

Thanks to the folks at Art City for collaborating with us.  From Art City's own garden at their headquarters on Dubbers Street, to the backyards and landscapes of California, They're helping make stone the rockstar of permaculture design.

We're ready for the next one!