THOU SHALT NOT COVET thy neighbor’s rocks. That’s what I keep reminding myself these days, as I look enviously at retaining walls, edging, even decorative tree surrounds, like the one above, on other people’s property. I’m trying to put together enough linear feet of local stone to edge my brand new planting beds — probably 100 feet in all.
I went to the stone yard a couple of weeks ago to price them, and found that an enormous wire bin of medium-sized rocks from the Delaware Water Gap would cost about $500 delivered, an expense I decided to work around.
That’s another of my mantras this spring: anything I can do, I will do. I may not be able to build a deck or renovate my own bathroom, but I can pick up rocks. The ones I need are not large or very heavy, although I would love a few boulders for key spots if I could manage it.
First, of course, I gathered all I could find here on my own property, which was surprisingly few. Did the glacier not deposit many, or have they been removed over the years? Then my neighbor across the road kindly came up with a few more. Lately I’ve been scanning the roadsides on my daily walks, setting suitable rocks aside, and driving back to pick them up later.
I know nothing about the geology of the local stone, except that the orange ones contain iron. Others are rounded and white; some are gray and sparkly (granite?) I like them all.
My fingers itch when I spy the perfect rock. Usually it’s already spoken for. But I keep walking and looking, and day by day my edging grows.