Rocks in Progress

Rock Border in Front Garden

Garden Gate with Arbor

Dduring the week, I spend the mornings with my children, and work in the afternoons while Mr. Magpie takes the kids. So I like to always have an outdoor project going so we can all be outside. I do love being outside. When I am getting short-tempered, Mr. Magpie will joke that he needs to throw us outside. He’s usually right.

Right now I have this project going in the front garden to edge the beds that line the house with low evergreen plants and rocks. I’m hoping that beefing up the foundation beds will give my house a little depth and dimension, since it has none of it’s own.

I’ve been wanting to do something like this since we got the keys five years ago, but what finally kickstarted this project was a windfall of free rocks and free plants.

The rocks came from a house my in-laws bought in the area. They were just piled around a tree in the front yard. My in-laws didn’t want them, so we carted them home in the back of the car. It took several loads. Then we dumped them on the driveway, and there they sat for a bit (*cough* a year *cough*) while I tried to figure out how to come up with all the plants I would need.

Just when I was thinking how much I really wanted to finish this project and get the rocks off the driveway, I got my second windfall. I belong to a local garden swappers group on Facebook, and last week a generous, lovely woman on a local garden swappers board I am on, decided she was ready to get rid of her knot garden gave away a ton of euonymus plants because she didn’t want to have her knot garden anymore. I was lucky enough to be first on the scene, and I was able to dig up and bring home all the plants I needed to finish the project. They’re all a pretty common type of euonymus called Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety’.

Right now I’m working on the part by the door. You can see here where I’ve got a good start.

Rock and Euonymous Border in Garden

It’s kind of fiddly, so I just do a few rocks every day. Here’s where the next section will go.

Rocks Waiting to go in Border

You can see how I’ve already got the euonymous in, and I’m working my way down the line.

Unfinished Rock and Euonymous Border

Because the rocks were free and I didn’t know if I would have enough, I first distributed them all up and down the line on the grass so I could see if I was going to have enough to go straight across, or have to be artsy with groupings or something.

I also did the side by the other gate (I’m going to put a low hedge down the side there).

Rock and Euonymous Border by Garden Gate

Of course what I’m NOT showing you is the fact that all the beds out by the sidewalk are full of weeds and grass.

Weedy Mess of a Garden Border


Also, the bed that’s front and center doesn’t have greenery OR rocks yet. But I’m working on it!

Pile of Dirt and Waiting Plants


Let’s look at something else before we sign off. I’ve been simplifying and cleaning up the borders, as I go, making sure there’s room for hydrangeas and daylilies to go with all the evergreens.

Purple Lacecap Hydrangea Blossoms

Hall's Pink Daylily and Tiny Beetle

Blue Hydrangea Blossoms on Black Stem Hydrangea

Of course, on the sunny side of the yard nearer the fence, there will be roses. Lots and lots of roses. That’s just required.

I also want to have a brick path leading to the front door, and I actually scored a huge pile of free bricks this summer to do that with. I don’t know if I’ll get it done this year, it might have to wait with fall rocketing this way. But at least the bricks are stored nicely, and not just dumped on the driveway. My neighbors are pleased, I think.

Are you doing any projects in your front garden this summer?


~Angela :-)

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  1. Your garden looks so pretty, love the rocks. We had rocks in our first two homes we lived in, a rock wall that we built and then borders around the flower beds. I love the look and they are very cottagey. Have fun!

  2. Barbara H. says:

    Angela, this is looking pretty darn good! I remember quite a while ago you were trying to come up with a plan for the front and it was pretty sparse. The sides look fantastic. How about a shot from farther out so we can see the whole shebang?
    When you do the brick walk, You might want to use polymeric sand between the bricks to help keep weeds out. After you lay down the bricks, put the sand in the joins, trying to keep it off the surface. Then mist it with the hose several times. The sand will set up hard. If it cracks later on, it will set up again when it gets wet.

  3. We have rocks edging our garden beds. The large garden bed was already partly edged with rocks when we moved in and I added to them. Each bed that I’ve added since then has had a rock edging. Luckily, or unluckily as the case may be, we have very rocky soil around here!

  4. Your yard is looking so nice. I wish my sweetheart would let me put rocks along the flowerbeds at the front of our home. He ‘worries’ about mowing alongside rocks or any other edging. Your flowerbeds are nice – inspiration for me to get busy with the changes I want in mine!

  5. I love it! You’ve given me good ideas and now I know where I want to put the flower starts I brought home from Eastern Oregon this weekend! The rocks really anchor the beds and give everything a finished look, and you can’t go wrong with hydrangeas and day lillies! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Barbara @ DIY Home Staging Tips says:

    Angela — Your beds are looking super pretty! All the plants look healthy and the design is good.
    Don’t you love getting free plants and hardscape for the garden? Some of the best parts of my gardens are the things that come along as freebies or accidents or volunteers. That’s Mother Nature for you! And in-laws.
    Keep up the good work. Get those kids moving rocks!

  7. Shabby Cottage says:

    Rocks are one of the things I’m always looking for…of course I want them to be free! You are so lucky to get (for free) all those lovely rocks! Warm hugs, Esther

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