The new bed- part one!

Maine, United States(Zone 5b)

Ok, at long last, I can share some pics with you guys of the project that basically started last year when we got a microburst that wrecked my garden with hail and took down a large pine. Several kind DG'er sent me hosta to use in a new bed that would be where the tree fell. Unfortunately, getting the tree out of there took all of the summer and into the fall, so the bed had to wait to be built til this Spring.

I designed it with two tiers to go up the slope. Because I have neither the money to buy lots of stones to build the walls, nor the talent or patience to stack them all nice and secure, I devised a plan to make my own faux rocks using a foam covered concrete block I cast, and then used hypertufa on the face to carve the "rocks". I just wanted it to blend in with the other areas of natural stone, which I think it does nicely. It took a while to figure it all out, but I'm happy with it, though it's not entirely done.

Here is a pic from last year, with the fallen tree. It was massive.

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Maine, United States(Zone 5b)

Here is the new bed(s) in place and the lower tier planted. I plan on using more stones to taper the upper bed into the ground....think I have enough natural rocks to do that.

Thumbnail by Noreaster
Maine, United States(Zone 5b)

Closer shot of the first tier. I may have these too tightly spaced but will leave it for now.

In there is Shimmy Shake (gift from IC conifers- great serrated edge and cool purply red scapes that really show as you walk up the slope and see it from underneath

the blue one is one I picked up last year- Silver Moon. Increased phenomenally in just one year. I think I have only the second known photograph of it, lol. Seriously, google it and tell me how many different pics you can find! All the info I find about mature size varies widely. It will probably be too large for this spot, ultimately, judged on what I'm seeing in my garden.

Green and white is Risky Business (gift from LeBug)- Love the crispness of this one! This is one I may keep dividing to keep it smaller..not sure.

Far left behind the green one is Popcorn, from Rose-

All green is Worldly Treasure, which I've had for a few years


And the minis are my languishing Pandora's Box, Dragon tails (gift from Beaux!) and BLue Lollipop.

The upper bed is to be planted with larger varieties.. I want this whole thing to just be a dense cascade of hosta when it's all done:

Pineapple Upside down cake (gift from Eleven. Eleven also gave me some Astrantia which I am super excited to see bloom- I think I have a bud on there. I think the Astrantia will go in the upper tier, too.

Blue Umbrellas

Plantaginea from Pirl

Whirlwind from Frank

Lady Isobel Barnett from Bellie

Brother Stefan from Beaux

and Krossa Regal from LeBug


It may be a week or so before I get that upper tier in....lugging the soil up the slope is a killer.

I absolutely love all the plants that people sent me last year and am so grateful to have them. I will keep you posted as I go along with this.


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Maine, United States(Zone 5b)

Here is an in progress shot that show my faux stones better... I topped them with real rocks.

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Peoria, IL(Zone 5a)

That looks soooooo nice. Your faux stonework is incredible. It is really nice to see the new addition to your garden after what you went through last year. What do you use on your rockwork to make it look aged like real stone?

Royal Oak, MI(Zone 6a)

Noreaster, I still love all your fake stones =) And I bet they're easier to move than my real ones!

Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

I LOVE the fake stones. Would be interested in a photo tutorial. Did you take pics of the process?

Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

Should say the hostas look very happy too.

Maine, United States(Zone 5b)

Frank, the after I do the hypertufa part, I let them cure and dry a little bit, then I spray them with concrete acid stain...that makes the color blend really well with the natural rock. Ideally, they will grow moss in time like a lot of my hypertufa pots have, if they get enough shade.

Ann, I did not photograph the process, but I still have a couple more to make-- I loved them so much that I want to revamp one of my earlier stone walls around my dalylilies. That will probably be the last project for the year. I will take pictures of that whole process and post them. The hardest part was figuring out the mold for my cast form and thinking three dimensionally after working out the design on my computer. Carving the rock shapes was fun and became easier and better as I went along. The less I thought about it, the better they looked.

Eleven, yes, these blocks are much lighter than real stone!! They have a hollow channel in the center that we drove a piece of rebar into for support, since the lower wall is 17" high at the highest point. My wonderful Father in Law helped me with some of that part.

I used some of my leftover blocks to refine the shape of this small bed and add some white Hakone grass

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Portsmouth, VA(Zone 8a)

I am sorry for your loss, (tree). I love the new beds you have created, you have great friends who share their plants and you have worked hard. I absolutely love the stones you have created, what a great idea! They say 'Necessity is the mother of invention' and you sure have proved that. I cannot lift the real stones either. I think I would like to try and make some stones myself do you have any suggestions on where to start, what do I need besides Styrofoam and concrete. How did you shape them without a mold ?

Maine, United States(Zone 5b)

It was sad to lose such a mature tree, but it did give me a nice shot of morning light and open the door for more hosta! I'll try to post some tutorial pics soon- I think I will make some over the weekend and I'll photograph all the steps.

Portsmouth, VA(Zone 8a)

Thanks a whole lot Noreaster, I am going to start documenting what Hostas I have on my have list, let me know if you ever need anything.

Virginia Beach, VA

I just saw this thread. you must have a big lot unlike ours which is very limited. I see rocks all over so you must have tons of rocks like Rhode Island.

I did not see Lady Isobel? How is she doing?

You put in a lot of time making your garden look pretty!!! I wake up at 5 AM every morning to feed the kois , make rounds and repot or plant.

Beautiful garden!!!!

Bellie

Portsmouth, VA(Zone 8a)

Yes, That morning sun will prove to be a plus. I like the way you put the three blues together. How is the Hakone Grass working out, have you used it before? Does it like the shade or did you do this after the morning sun showed it's face?



bellieg, She made the rocks !!!

Virginia Beach, VA

Virginia,
I know the new beds are faux, but the back of the yard are rocks--boulders. Just curious because it is expensive to buy rocks here.

Bellie

Royal Oak, MI(Zone 6a)

Bellie, I think Noreaster said in another thread that the real stones are from the surrounding land. I'm lucky enough to have a lot of real stones that the previous homeowners bought. Of course, they also shoveled in gravel by the truckload that I'm still digging out of some beds...

Pepperell, MA(Zone 6a)

noreaster that is a great home to your hosta! the fake stone looks good too - although nothing like the real stuff:) will help keeping critters from making the wall a place to live though.

bill

Portsmouth, VA(Zone 8a)

Yeah, they do look real. Great looking garden!

Syracuse, NY(Zone 5a)

That's amazing! We had a microburst here about 10 years ago so I know how devastating it can be to a garden and trees. But that's the beauty of nature and gardening, you've made something amazing out of a tragedy! And I hope you got some free mulch out of that poor old tree. ;) love your gardens. Great inspiration for my new gardens. I'll have to see about hypertuffa classes, they were having some at my local nursery

Watertown, WI(Zone 5a)

Noreaster, that all looks incredibly cool--talk about triumph over tragedy! I love your faux stones. They seem like they must be a lot of work, but man are the results ever worth it. Absolutely amazing.

Whiteside County, IL(Zone 5a)

I hate to gloss over the new beds, but that hypertufa work is awesome and I'm in agreement with wanting to see the tutorial!

Portsmouth, VA(Zone 8a)

http://www.5min.com/Video/How-to-Make-Hypertufa-Pots-18630332

HERE IS A TUTORIAL, I got the link from a local nursery !

Watertown, WI(Zone 5a)

Thanks for the link, Virginiarose! That was a cool video. I'm feeling like making a few pots now, if not necessarily stones. :)

Portsmouth, VA(Zone 8a)

Yeah, I'm excited too! I feel like I could make anything! Can't wait to get started! :)

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