This was a really simple idea I had while pulling rocks from an old herb garden. I had a few large, flat rocks among several hundred large rocks. After removing them from the garden, they sat in a pile for the better part of a year before I thought of anything to do with them. The plan was to bring them to the dump because it seemed no one would take them. We had one person who came and used a few for her garden, but there were just too many! I decided I would keep them rather than bothering to haul them off. This is what I came up with...
Step 1: Rock Border
The first thing I did was load the rocks from my pile into my wheelbarrow. I made several trips, but in the end, this was much quicker than trying to haul them all by hand. After hauling them, I separated some of the larger rocks from the smaller ones in order to plan my border. I have a few cedars and a maple that grow in the back of the house and they've just kind of stood there until now. This barrier adds a nice aesthetic and keeps the rocks out of the way.
I tried to outline the border with the larger rocks and build up towards the base of the trunk. I also placed rocks in between the trees because I had so many of them. The metal rod you see in the pictures is a shepherd's hook. With a little touch up and careful placement, these rocks transformed this space and saved me some hassle.
Step 2: Rock Shelves
Boom! Rock Shelves! Yes. I found these flat bad boys among the rest of the rocks in my herb garden. They actually fit some of the contours of my birch tree perfectly so I opted to tap these in place with a rubber mallet. I also used a little pine sap glue that I made for a little extra support. If you don't know how to make pine sap glue, it's really easy. Just collect a whole bunch of pine sap, crush a bunch of coals from a fire pit or fireplace into a fine powder. Melt the sap in a small pot or pan that you don't plan on using for anything else and stir in the coals. When this stuff hardens, it sticks to anything and is very solid. After tapping the rocks into place, I literally melted some of the pine sap glue into the cracks on the sides of the rocks. I then laid some moss on the edges of the rocks. It shouldn't take more than a couple weeks for the moss to take hold well enough to resist wind and rainfall. Just make sure you water the moss a bit if there's no rain for a few days, and make sure the moss has a small amount of soil beneath it. Overall these shelves turned out beautifully and provide a perfect space for gnomes, potted plants, or other garden knick-knacks.
Step 3: Thoughts...
Outside of arts and crafts, these are just a couple ideas that can add a little fun to your garden or outdoor space. I also used a couple of the rocks for supporting the frame for my cucumber/tomato vines. There are many more great ideas out there for repurposing your rocks and other items. Please feel free to share your comments, criticisms, and ideas. Thanks!