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Hypertufa and Concrete: Making rocks

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trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

June 22, 2004
3:45 PM

Post #920885

Since we have no natural rocks, and buying large rocks is very expensive, we decided to make our own We started with sand, wet and roughly shaped. We then covered the sand with dry sandmix readymix cement, about an inch thick. Sprinkled with fine mist until wet. After 2 days, wet and add 1 iinch of sandmix, wet, another inch let harden for a couple of days. Obtain concrete dye, we used mixture of Terra Cotta and Buff with a little black to darken. Mix this wet and pour it on with a shovel. Avoid smoothing as this will show later. When it is firm to the touch, use black paint and a large brush and sling splatters onto the mix. Bumps and so forth help the look.
These pictures are our first try in 1998.

Trois

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trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

June 22, 2004
3:49 PM

Post #920890

This is how it looks this morning.

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Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


June 22, 2004
3:49 PM

Post #920892

This is really clever, trois! We are never far away from rocks here in my town... we're surrounded by mountains, but this looks like a great alternative. I have a neighbor who makes troughs, which I think is similar.
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

June 22, 2004
3:53 PM

Post #920899

At the same time we made a "rock" to contain a bucket in which to grow Hyacinths. 1998

Trois

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trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

June 22, 2004
3:56 PM

Post #920903

The Hyacinths are not blooming at this time, but this is how it looks today.

Trois

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Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


June 22, 2004
4:05 PM

Post #920910

I think you've opened up a whole new way to 'rock garden', or rather 'faux rock garden'! As I said, we have all the wonderful rocks you could ever hope for, but your poured rocks give you the option of making cracks and dips where ever you need them. I'm not sure how these fellows would hold up in all our rain.
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

June 22, 2004
4:09 PM

Post #920917

I live in the rainest place on earth. Last year 11 feet, 6 inches. No harm. We treat them just like rocks, walk on them and no problem.

Trois
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


June 22, 2004
4:25 PM

Post #920944

How about that! At 138 inches of rain per year, you've got us beat! Our annual rainfall is around 60 inches, and I don't know if that includes snowfall. I just did a bit of surfing and found a site that listed the Gray County average rainfall to be about 20.14 inches, so you must have been flooding out last year!

With our wet conditions, the rocks tend to cover with moss and lychin, so it's good to know these poured rocks will take that sort of thing.
patischell
Fort Pierce, FL
(Zone 10a)

June 22, 2004
4:28 PM

Post #920952

I LOVE YOUR ROCKS! We don't have large rocks here. Believe it or not, there is a business here that just sells large, imported, boulder type rocks. My daughter bought one for her front yard garden and I almost fainted at the price! Your's are so natural looking, even without the plants.
Pati







trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

June 22, 2004
4:44 PM

Post #920979

Thanks. We forget that they are not real rocks. We dont always try to make natural looking rocks. Sometimes just somthing that is a good contrast for the plants. This picture is of a 60 foot long border behind out Water Iris. It keeps down weeds and makes it easier to get close to the plants.

Trois

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trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

June 22, 2004
5:02 PM

Post #921012

This is an overall view of our traffic circle, looking to the West.

My wife is watering those thing that need daily attention. We have a mixture from desert to swamp plants all in containers, and near each other. Sometimes we have time to just sit and enjoy.

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trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

June 22, 2004
5:05 PM

Post #921016

A close up of the East end of container area.

Trois

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trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

June 22, 2004
5:11 PM

Post #921020

This is from the West end looking East. Most of the Water Lilies are on this end. Several have not yet opened. They open at all different times.

The WaterLily containers are 2 sizes. The large pots are 24 inches by 18 inches, the smaller 18 by 18 inches. The Devils Trumpet is in a 20 by 18 inch pot.

Trois

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trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

June 22, 2004
5:16 PM

Post #921023

This shows basic construction. Plastic sheet, landscape timber supports, gravel fill in between. Part of my wife is in for scale.

Trois

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patischell
Fort Pierce, FL
(Zone 10a)

June 22, 2004
5:28 PM

Post #921036

Thanks for the pictures, they are truly beautiful. I love the way the containers nestle in the dips of the rock. In my mind's eye I can see it in my yard and it fits perfectly.*sigh*
Pati
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

June 22, 2004
6:00 PM

Post #921083

Thank you. It was very easy to do. After the original hill, the rest with landscape tembers and so forth took only a day.

Getting the pots was a little more difficult. We ordered from a man that goes to Mexico to pick up things like this.

Trois

This message was edited Sep 7, 2004 9:44 AM
HERBIE43
Rutland , MA
(Zone 5b)

June 22, 2004
10:28 PM

Post #921387

gtrois - the rocks look great.
delphiniumdiva
Birmingham, AL
(Zone 8a)

June 22, 2004
10:29 PM

Post #921392

This is an AWESOME IDEA!!!!!!!!!!! For those of us who live in the non-rocky parts of the country, boulders are just a dream. Now I can make them a reality!

Q: Do you put the concrete onto the sand dry or do you mix it up with water first? I can't quite figure it out.
delphiniumdiva
Birmingham, AL
(Zone 8a)

June 22, 2004
10:32 PM

Post #921399

Also, could you be a little more specific about how you do the colored layer? Thanks!

Gonna be Rockin...
HERBIE43
Rutland , MA
(Zone 5b)

June 22, 2004
10:45 PM

Post #921421

how much do they way. maybe you can make some money selling them to us un crafty people.
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

June 22, 2004
11:11 PM

Post #921446

First you build a basic shape with sand.
Wet the sand.
Put a 1 inch layer of dry sandmix on the wet sand, spray mist the sandmix. This will harden and preserve your basic shape.
When it is firm (no walking yet) next day or so, wet the surface, then add another inch of sandmix, spray the sandmix until wet. When this hardens in a day or so, you should now have 3 inches of concrete. Wait another day and you should be able to walk on the surface.

Mix up a bag of sandmix with water, somewhat thinner (It should run a bit when applied) than normal cement, add the colors you want, remembering it will be lighter when dry. Using a shovel, put this mixture onto the hardened surface that you have wet first. Do not smooth as this will show big time. When this starts to harden, sling black paint off a large brush until you get the desired look, then do a little more. After it dries, more paint can be splattered if needed. The paint splatters should have a random look. Fill around the edges with pea gravel.
Hope this helps. Trois

This message was edited Jun 27, 2004 12:04 PM
delphiniumdiva
Birmingham, AL
(Zone 8a)

June 23, 2004
3:25 AM

Post #921807

Thanks trois, that clears things up. I am def going to try it when the weather cools a bit (say around October...)

rootdoctor

rootdoctor
Harrisville, MI
(Zone 5b)

June 23, 2004
3:34 AM

Post #921823

I love them!!
Take a look at these.
http://davesgarden.com/t/400803/
MsCritterkeeper
The Heart of Texas, TX
(Zone 8b)

June 23, 2004
3:53 AM

Post #921853

Beautiful pics of your handy work!
Thanks for sharing the "How to's" .
I have a small pond area I wanted to work on and between your post & Roots, I think hubby & I can work something out really nice.
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

June 23, 2004
4:00 AM

Post #921866

You are welcome. This is what we do when the basic growing season is over. It makes winter pass a little easier, and more to enjoy next year.

Trois
tcfromky
Mercer, PA
(Zone 5a)

July 9, 2004
12:41 PM

Post #943880

trois, thanks for sharing this great project! I just may have to make me a few faux boulders to use around here.

TC...
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

July 9, 2004
1:38 PM

Post #944035

You are welcome. We have more planned for cooler weather, when the plants go to sleep.

Trois
tcfromky
Mercer, PA
(Zone 5a)

July 9, 2004
2:40 PM

Post #944115

I could make some then too, except I'll be in school. ;~(

TC...
julie88
Muscoda, WI
(Zone 4b)

July 10, 2004
8:28 PM

Post #945827

Trois, thanks for sharing the photos AND the information with us.

This summer I've been playing in the "hypertufa" (much lighter! :-D) and having a blast. I think your work looks fantastic and definitely worth giving the technique a try.

~julie~
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

July 10, 2004
8:52 PM

Post #945865

We decided on our approach in order to be able to walk freely on them, just like real rocks, and we build them where we expect them to stay. We use no reinforceing materials so it can be broken up if needed.

Thanks
earthwormlover
Frederick, MD

September 7, 2004
12:09 PM

Post #1037841

Wow, I never even thought about the fact that someone might not have rocks when they want/need them. What a creative way to deal with it! Good for you Trois.
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

September 7, 2004
2:49 PM

Post #1038126

Thank you. We would have nothing but bog plants otherwise. It is about 80 miles to the nearest rocks from here, then just plain limestone.

gumlla

gumlla
Mirpur (A.K)
Pakistan
(Zone 9b)

September 11, 2004
7:43 PM

Post #1044710

Can you tell me name of the plants in Picture no. 9 , plants are in containers, bery beautiful.
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

September 11, 2004
8:11 PM

Post #1044736

Those are Water Lilies, except the one which is a Century Plant. If I picked the wrong one, let me know.
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


September 11, 2004
11:19 PM

Post #1044931

Trois, thanks so much for this thread. I can see from your 'aged' faux rock that you do see a bit of precipitation, too!
scooterbug
Tellico Plains, TN
(Zone 7b)

September 12, 2004
4:16 AM

Post #1045284

What a clever idea !

I might try a smaller scaled one to see what the freeze/frost does to it. It would be great if it works in this area.

gumlla

gumlla
Mirpur (A.K)
Pakistan
(Zone 9b)

September 12, 2004
5:21 AM

Post #1045365

Those are coming out of containers? water lilies leaves are floating on the surface of the water.
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

September 12, 2004
11:52 AM

Post #1045486

That is correct. Your favorite Lily is growing in one of the containers.

gumlla

gumlla
Mirpur (A.K)
Pakistan
(Zone 9b)

September 12, 2004
7:43 PM

Post #1046116

Those are very beautiful.
Equilibrium

September 21, 2004
1:23 AM

Post #1059085

Beyond impressive! Would you please take a moment to see if you are in a position to lend me any tips over at this thread. There is a photo of my dream boulder over there. I would be most appreciative. Thanks so much, Lauren

http://davesgarden.com/forums/t/457881/

I hate to say it but I sort of lust for the birdbath boulder in the photo at that link. We have a very large sandbox out back for the boys which I believe might be ideal as a staging ground to create a boulder for me. Exactly how heavy is this once completed? I am not exactly skilled in anything such as this. Matter of fact I have never even attempted anything such as this. Do you think it is possible I could actually get a professional looking result such as what you have achieved? If not, please speak right up and let me know as I realize I am not exactly the handiest or the craftiest person out there.
Equilibrium

September 21, 2004
1:26 AM

Post #1059096

What brand of dye did you use when you created these? Where do you get the dye from?
What did you mix your sand mix in- a mixer like what a bricklayer would use?
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

September 21, 2004
12:56 PM

Post #1059553

I used dye from Home Depot. They are as heavy as rocks for practical purposes It should be built where it will stay.
I checked out the mold method and decided it was too complicated. Look at the one I made to hold a Hyacnth. On that one I started with a mound of sand, mixed it a little soupy in a wheelbarrow using a hoe, then shoveled it on. It will run down the sides a bit using this method. When it is as high as you want it, add more around the edges leaving a hollow in the center. Just remember to never smooth the mix as that will show. You can skip the dye altogether if you wish to just splatter several different colors of paint on the surface. Ask for a long lasting concrete dye or paint and dip the brush in the paint, then sling it on the rock. Don't over do the paint, then add a second color the same way. Continue until it looks like you want. This will make a mess around the base that can be covered with gravel or sand. Ask if I can help.
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

September 21, 2004
1:06 PM

Post #1059564

I would suggest you use one bag of cement and practice before you start the larger project. You should learn from that if you wish to continue.
Equilibrium

September 21, 2004
1:34 PM

Post #1059589

Building it where it will stay is probably a real good idea. My poor husband would not have been happy with my first "practice run" in the middle of the sandbox for the kids. I wasn't thinking how heavy it would be when complete. I was sort of thinking it would lift off of the sand form underneath and be able to be moved. The synthetic birdbath boulder I posted a photo of was very light weight and could be moved all over the place at will. I do have a wheel barrel and I do have a hoe! This is a start although this project will have to wait until next spring.

Say trois, I looked at all of your photos of what you have done by your home and I pulled up this thread when a few fellow gardeners came over here to show them AND all of us were sort of hovering around my computer monitor salivating. We all have woodland settings and this is the first time we have seen anything that looks as if it belongs. We all have properties with potential but not one of us has anything as nice as what you created.
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

September 21, 2004
2:36 PM

Post #1059668

You are very kind.

It sounds like all you need is a shovel. My wife and I are getting a little old and are not as strong as we once were. We put down a plastic sheet in the back of the van, then unloaded the cement a shovel full at a time, avoiding heavy lifting. The largest project was the 60 foot long 5 foot wide border behind our water Iris. This took about a week without too much labor in any one day. If you have someone strong enough to lift the bags into your wheelbarrow, you can wheel the bag to the place of construction.
Equilibrium

September 21, 2004
2:55 PM

Post #1059701

Hi trois, I have shovels, no shortage of those over here. I am a short and small person, my husband calls me height challenged but I can hold my own much to his shock. My oldest son is over 6' tall already and every once in a while I am blessed with a few bursts of willingness to be productive over here. I don't hold my breath though as it only happens once in a blue moon. I am going to try to go for this project this spring. I am actually very excited about it and your photos were what I have been waiting for. I had been looking and looking for the longest time for an "end result" that would fit what I had dreamed in my head and yours does just that. I know exactly what I want but I am not creative so I am thankful for people like you who share your labors of love. I can't seem to find an image of your 60' x 5' border to your water iris. Am I missing it or is it in another thread?
branka
Hobart, IN
(Zone 5a)

September 21, 2004
3:50 PM

Post #1059747

Trois, about the water lily in the big free standing pot. Is the pot filled with dirt and kept muddy, kind of like a lotus bog? And, do the lilies bloom just as well as they would in a pond? I really like that and seriously think I need to try it!
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

September 21, 2004
4:02 PM

Post #1059763

I think you are missing it, likely because you expected it to be taller. It is only about 10 inches high, and right against the tall water iris, not blooming. It is basically just an irregular, uneven border that serves as a rock for walking and standing next to the Iris. The inside edge extends into the water.

We have several Water Lilies in free standing pots. We places a layer of tough, thin plastic over the bottom drain hole, covered with dirt to hold it down, about 8 inches of dirt, then 4 to 6 inches of water on top. Most of these Lilies have bloomed more than the ones in the Lily pond, I suspect because we can walk right up to them for feeding purposes. Just be sure to place some kind of fish in them that will eat the skeeters when they come to lay eggs.
branka
Hobart, IN
(Zone 5a)

September 21, 2004
4:21 PM

Post #1059786

Thanks trois! I have waterlilies coming out of my ears and am going to make a couple of deck pots next spring. I can't wait!!!
delphinium46
Matthews, MO

October 9, 2004
3:13 PM

Post #1086623

I am very impressed...loved seeing your work...dee Creativity at it's best.
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

October 10, 2004
2:45 AM

Post #1087504

Thank you.

MsMaati

MsMaati
Newburgh, IN
(Zone 6a)

October 18, 2004
2:36 PM

Post #1100859

These are great!!!
sugarfoot
Granbury, TX
(Zone 7b)

January 25, 2005
2:54 PM

Post #1256963

Trois,
I love your rocks. About how many bags of concrete did it take to make the ones in the first picture?

Thanks
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

January 25, 2005
3:17 PM

Post #1257002

The part you are seeing takes about 10 bags. I 'm not able to find my notes right now, but most of the structure is wet sand, covered with cement. The cement is about 3 inches thick over the sand. Home Depot has 40 pound bags and it would take about 20 of those. I buy from a local lumber yard that carries 80 pound bags. Moss and Lichens are growing over the rocks just as they would real ones. They have suffered no weather damage since installing. No cracks.

trois
MaryEv
Columbus, OH
(Zone 6a)

January 25, 2005
3:38 PM

Post #1257051

I just think these are wonderful, trois. I read this thread this summer and now with all the gross Ohio weather, I'm itching to try my own. I suppose I'll wait till it's warmer. :(

I hope mine turn out as natural looking as yours did!
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

January 25, 2005
4:32 PM

Post #1257123

Just do all shaping the shaping with the sand and avoid the urge to smooth the cement. Try a small sample of color and let it dry before you settle on the final mix. No slope should exceed about 40 degrees. The cement will slide off otherwise, requiring a lot more cement to cover the sand. If you dont like the finished color, you will already have the solid form. Just recoat the structure with a different mix. Slinging the paint on after the mix partially dries covers a lot of otherwise bad looking spots.

trois
sugarfoot
Granbury, TX
(Zone 7b)

January 25, 2005
4:48 PM

Post #1257305

Trois,
Our house is on the Brazos River. Near the river there's about a 15' drop down to a flat area. We've been trying to come up with a cost effective way to make steps down to the river. The bids we've gotten from contractors are very high - even just using sakrete bags. Our soil is very sandy. I'm wondering if we could drive rebar down into the sand for extra strength and stability then use your method to form steps and then make some natural looking rocks along the edges. We could do a step or two at a time to keep it from being too formidable. One consideration is that the river will occasionally rise and cover the steps- maybe even the whole 15' bank. Seems to me if we use enough rebar that it wouldn't wash away. Theres a recessed area where we're thinking of putting the steps that would somewhat protect them from the full flow of the river when it's up. I would really appreciate your thoughts on this.

Linda
PS I love all the photos you've posted. If even half of the flower pic you've posted have been from your yard, you must live in the Garden of Eden!
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

January 25, 2005
5:17 PM

Post #1257356

How steep is the slope?
Can you dig it further back to create a less steep slope? Then maybe you wouldn't need steps. On a smaller scale I have used bags of sackreet left in the bag and with 2- 6 foot steel fence posts driven in front so they wont slide. The bags will harden and become like rocks. Then you can top them off with whatever finish you desire. Just leave about 4 inches of post sticking out of the ground. This might take a while but would get the job done. If the slope is verticle, then 4 poles spaced apart apart about 3 feet wide and parallel to the cliff could support steps, of treated wood. Two tall poles at the top of the cliff and two short ones at the bottom, all in deep. From top to bottom connect with 2 x 12 notched for steps.
I may have a distorted vision of your problem. Let me know.

trois
trois
sugarfoot
Granbury, TX
(Zone 7b)

January 25, 2005
9:02 PM

Post #1257589

Here's a picture of the slope. My DH likes the sakrete idea, but I'd like a more natural look...

Thumbnail by sugarfoot
Click the image for an enlarged view.

sugarfoot
Granbury, TX
(Zone 7b)

January 25, 2005
9:05 PM

Post #1257592

Here's a pic from a different angle...

Thumbnail by sugarfoot
Click the image for an enlarged view.

trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

January 25, 2005
10:30 PM

Post #1257724

I know how I would do it, but let me think of how to express the idea. Tomorrow likely.

trois
momof2d
Des Moines, IA
(Zone 5a)

January 25, 2005
10:43 PM

Post #1257741

WOW! Trois, I'm glad I came upon this thread! I have a long,large shady yard that I was planning on purchasing alot of brick,ect, to help cut down on mowing. Your instuctions are great! Thanks so much for sharing with everyone! I think in Iowa due to all the constant freezing/thawing in the winter that I would 1st have to top the sand pile with chicken wire and then the cement mix's , at any rate I will be a 'rockin' too! Thanks again, Jill
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

January 25, 2005
11:11 PM

Post #1257784

That should work. Keep me informed on your progress. We don't have the freezing part here. In the ground, at least.

trois
momof2d
Des Moines, IA
(Zone 5a)

January 26, 2005
12:36 AM

Post #1257883

I will, it will be a while before I can start, probably May, but what a great idea! I'll have to keep an eye out for concrete mix specials, and the sand I'll just get a whole bunch in bulk and start a sand pile beings sand is used for many gardening reasons. Thanks again Trois!
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

January 26, 2005
12:39 AM

Post #1257888

You are welcome.
MaryEv
Columbus, OH
(Zone 6a)

January 26, 2005
11:17 AM

Post #1258437

I just thought of another question. The hand made rocks are really heavy, aren't they? I was just thinking of what would be feasable if I made a rock in the wrong place and wanted to move it. Would it be virtually impossible?
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

January 26, 2005
12:04 PM

Post #1258467

This method pretty much requires making them where you want them. There are other methods of making latex or other lighter materials that can be moved. The ones I make are large and heavy, and you can walk on them just like real rocks.
MaryEv
Columbus, OH
(Zone 6a)

January 26, 2005
12:07 PM

Post #1258470

Thank you. I'm really ready for spring, I'm just dying to try this!
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

January 26, 2005
12:24 PM

Post #1258490

Linda, I would make a landing at least 2 x 4 feet about where the bottom of the ladder is, then make another up one step and to the right. In other words, curve the steps to the right along the cliff face to avoid the excessive steepness. If you cut a path straight back you run the risk of cave in along the sides. Curving along the face to the right will make a longer but easier to use set of stairs. I would still use the rebar or posts and sacrete for the steps to help hold when the river floods. The larger each step is, the less danger of falling on the way down. It will take a lot of shovel work any way you do the job, I think. With a little extra effort you could make a gentle curved trail all the way without steps. You would still need the solid floor because of floods. We live about 30 miles East of the Brazos and it does flood here big time. We frequently go to where it goes into the Gulf.

All the flowers posted are from our yard unless it says otherwise. I usually don't say where our flowers are. All of the flowers don't bloom at once or it would indeed look like the garden of Eden.

trois

This message was edited Jan 26, 2005 7:29 AM
sugarfoot
Granbury, TX
(Zone 7b)

January 26, 2005
2:51 PM

Post #1258727

Trois,
Thank you so much for the thought you put into this. I think you are right about curving it along the bank. Once the bags of sacrete were cured out, do you think I could cover them with an inch or two if the mixture you used to make them look more natural?

Thanks again,
Linda
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

January 26, 2005
4:10 PM

Post #1258832

That was my plan. I can see that I left it out. Sorry.

trois
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

January 29, 2005
5:33 PM

Post #1263975

trois, I was thinking about using empty cola cans (in a plastic bag or otherwise grouped together). Pour concrete over the bag of cans. Empty cans will make the boulders lighter weight and reduce the amount concrete needed. However, I think the cans would make the "structures" weaker so I intend to be careful about over using them. What do you think of this idea?
John
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

January 29, 2005
9:55 PM

Post #1264355

John, anyway you go the finished structure will be heavy. The cement must be at least 3 inches thick for you to walk on. What's under it would not matter as long as it holds the final structure until the cement is cured Most of the ones I have made were far too large to be moved anyway. I guess I should try some smaller ones and find out.

trois.
sugarweed
Jacksonville & Okeec, FL
(Zone 9a)

February 14, 2005
12:55 AM

Post #1287501

;>)
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

February 14, 2005
12:56 AM

Post #1287504

It's back Kohn.
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

February 14, 2005
1:02 AM

Post #1287516

ALRIGHT! Excellent bump!
scooterbug
Tellico Plains, TN
(Zone 7b)

February 20, 2005
1:25 AM

Post #1298090

Hey Trois, how are your 'rocks' holding up ?
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

February 20, 2005
3:12 AM

Post #1298200

I guess anyway you look at them they are OK. The ones we made are now are partially covered with Lichens and Moss. Grey and green. Just like real rocks. No winter damage. They be 6 years old now.

You going to make some? John said he was going to start today.
scooterbug
Tellico Plains, TN
(Zone 7b)

February 20, 2005
3:20 AM

Post #1298209

It's on my list, when I get to it all depends ('-'?)

Sounds nice that they are growing lichen & moss. Hope mine do as well.

Actually I'm debating between your style or some fake hypertufa stones & boulders.

Maybe both ;-D
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

February 20, 2005
12:14 PM

Post #1298457

My type has a big disadvantage. They are heavy and not movable, but can be made as big as you want.

Good luck.

trois
scooterbug
Tellico Plains, TN
(Zone 7b)

February 20, 2005
1:22 PM

Post #1298520

I'll have to remember the

" Big as you want " feature .

This is what makes your project so unique.



trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

February 20, 2005
1:47 PM

Post #1298557

I bordered my Lily Pond with a 60 foot long, 7 feet wide on average, and 14 inches high continuous rock. It's great for keeping down the grass and weeds plus gives a good place to stand.
sugarfoot
Granbury, TX
(Zone 7b)

February 20, 2005
1:51 PM

Post #1298573

Do you have a picture of the pond posted anywhere?
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

February 20, 2005
2:33 PM

Post #1298662

Somewhere, but I don't remember which forum. I need an aerial shot to show it correctly. I will try a tall ladder.
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

February 20, 2005
2:48 PM

Post #1298689

Trois, its your 60'x7'x 14" "outcrop" idea that I like best. My plan is a takeoff of that idea. Use the 'ourcrop' as a sitting area bordered by flower beds and a water feature and, fit in a campfire somewhere. Sort of like an old west drifter's camp. Silly I know but, I'm old and get to be a kid again!

John
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

February 20, 2005
2:53 PM

Post #1298699

That sound like a lot of fun, John. Also a great idea, maybe something for next winter for me, if I recover from this winter's project.

trois
sugarweed
Jacksonville & Okeec, FL
(Zone 9a)

February 20, 2005
4:53 PM

Post #1298914

Trois, PLEASE let the 9yr old DGS climb that ladder and take that picture, or one from the end long ways might give us a good ideal of the scope of your project.
With love,
Sidney
lol, Sugarfoot, there you go again, making me wonder when I had ask that question.
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

February 20, 2005
5:04 PM

Post #1298932

We want pictures of that project, trois!
sugarweed
Jacksonville & Okeec, FL
(Zone 9a)

February 20, 2005
5:08 PM

Post #1298939

Don't you make him climb that ladder!!
Debsroots
Northwest, MO
(Zone 5a)

February 20, 2005
5:11 PM

Post #1298942

Can't wait to see the pics...please be careful...Deb
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

February 20, 2005
5:32 PM

Post #1298961

Should've added: stay off the dang ladder, Bud!
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

February 20, 2005
5:40 PM

Post #1298976

I used to climb 1000 foot towers. I ain't scared of a 10 foot step ladder. The bending over stuff is what hurts. It's starting to rain. Again. The pictures may have to wait.

trois
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

February 20, 2005
6:07 PM

Post #1299004

Scared of the rain?
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

February 20, 2005
6:17 PM

Post #1299016

After all the construcion I can't afford a new camera.
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

February 20, 2005
7:16 PM

Post #1299075

Ah,. ah. Logic rules!
sugarweed
Jacksonville & Okeec, FL
(Zone 9a)

February 21, 2005
12:46 PM

Post #1300195

Trois has posted pictures http://aoeu.davesgarden.com/forums/t/486554/.
Very nice.
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

February 21, 2005
12:53 PM

Post #1300203

Just came from there, Sidney! ;-)
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

February 21, 2005
12:57 PM

Post #1300209

For some reason I couldn't find this thread last night.

I will post again here.

Thumbnail by trois
Click the image for an enlarged view.

trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

February 21, 2005
12:59 PM

Post #1300211

Growth on made rocks.

Thumbnail by trois
Click the image for an enlarged view.

sugarweed
Jacksonville & Okeec, FL
(Zone 9a)

February 21, 2005
1:05 PM

Post #1300218

It hides, along with some others I have to chheck my "watch" list for.
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

February 21, 2005
1:23 PM

Post #1300235

I found it easy this morning. Maybe I should go to bed earlier, but that is the only time I can post with any kind of speed. Slow dial-up.
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

February 21, 2005
2:21 PM

Post #1300321

What a difference a day can make, eh?
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

February 21, 2005
2:24 PM

Post #1300331

Yep.
hanna1
Castro Valley, CA
(Zone 9a)

February 24, 2005
5:29 PM

Post #1306256

Awesome project to ponder this Spring!!! Need to do something with my hilly backyard, Annie
gardenwife
Newark, OH
(Zone 5b)

February 24, 2005
9:41 PM

Post #1306759

I just saw this thread for the first time, Trois - these rocks...Well...ROCK. What a neat idea to do them in place and build them up by layers. That would be something Howie and I could do a lot easier than moving rocks (even fake ones) around.

I'd like to do some edging for around some beds. I've seen it done where you dig a trench and pour quickcrete in the trench, then add water. Yours are much more attractive, however.
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

February 24, 2005
9:51 PM

Post #1306788

Thank you. Many people have asked where we got such big rocks, and others have said that they thought no rock occured around here. Most were surprise that we had made them. Almost all Zoos make rocks. I'm not sure, but many look a lot like mine. They make even bigger ones.

trois
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

March 6, 2005
1:37 AM

Post #1322225

bump
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

March 6, 2005
2:59 AM

Post #1322328

Explain, John.
scooterbug
Tellico Plains, TN
(Zone 7b)

March 6, 2005
3:12 AM

Post #1322341

*snicker*
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 6, 2005
3:24 AM

Post #1322407

Has anyone tried this method yet in an area that gets freeze/thaw action? It sounds like an ideal way to border beds... my DH has been agitating for a "mowing strip" in front of my beds, partly because he figures a permanant border will keep "my" garden from further encroaching on "his" lawn! Somebody mentioned chicken wire... would that provide enough flexibility to prevent cracking?

I just found this thread, and I'm excited about the possibilities!
gardenwife
Newark, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 6, 2005
5:20 AM

Post #1322509

I don't mind the garden encroaching on the lawn, it's the lawn encroaching on the garden that I hate! LOL I really want to give one of these a whirl this year.
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

March 6, 2005
1:49 PM

Post #1322822

I don't want to explain other than to say that I may get more ideas from further conversation. Or, I could quote Gilder Radner and say "never mind."

John
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

March 6, 2005
1:52 PM

Post #1322825

IC
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

March 6, 2005
2:06 PM

Post #1322847

I am spreading that first layer now. Need to go to town and buy more cement. Any idea how many 80# bags a minivan can tote safely?
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

March 6, 2005
2:41 PM

Post #1322900

I haul 10 in mine.
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

March 6, 2005
2:55 PM

Post #1322928

I did 6 last time with no problem. I will do 10 today. Thanks.
sugarweed
Jacksonville & Okeec, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 6, 2005
3:00 PM

Post #1322932

Watch any bumps;>)
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

March 6, 2005
3:44 PM

Post #1323008

critterologist, I would think that if your "outcrop" did not exceed 6-8 feet without going back in the ground that you would be ok. However, I am not a concrete expert. Lets wait and see if someone who knows comes along.

John

p.s., I don't gotto watch no stinking bumps, Sugar.
sugarweed
Jacksonville & Okeec, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 6, 2005
4:22 PM

Post #1323086

yes sir;>)
jerrynmikey
Atchison, KS
(Zone 5b)

March 16, 2005
4:00 AM

Post #1341242

Wow, these are to cool! I am starting this week. I am in zone 5 so I think there will be a possibility of cracking but who cares!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are so good trois!!!
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

March 16, 2005
11:34 AM

Post #1341441

Thanks and good luck. Share your progress if you can, please, and especially any effects of cold weather.

trois
TraciS
Temple, GA
(Zone 7b)

March 23, 2005
12:28 AM

Post #1355479

Trois, I would really like to try this myself as well. We are wanting to add on to our pond and build the waterfall up with dirt and lots of stacked rocks and big boulders.
My husband is a Construction Superintendant and knows a great deal about concrete and I noticed someone had a ? about concrete. However he is used to huge loads of concrete in trucks, but I'm sure if he can, he'd be glad to answer any ?'s anyone may have. What do you suggest as the center of a big boulder? And do you usually use the same thing for all size rocks, or do you use something different for smaller one's? I wondered about big styrofoam balls wrapped in newspaper, or could you tell me what is the best thing to use?

Thanks for this great idea,
Traci S
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

March 23, 2005
2:54 AM

Post #1355837

Thanks for the interest.
Most of the time I use sand as the base. I have used blocks of styrofoam, 12 inches thick. Sand is best if it isn't to be moved.. I have also built something of wood and covered it with chicken wire. You can use almost anything that is strong enough to hold the raw materials. One way to make large flat rocks is to put down a layer of sand, cover it with reinforceing materials, build it up to the desired depth, then turn it over, then top coat the former bottom. This gives a rock with reversed slopes, wider at the top than at the botttom. Just keep the color correct all the way through. I have a tractor with A fork lift attachment to lift and turn over large ones. The size is limited to what you can handle.

trois
jwkaren
Lafayette, CA

March 23, 2005
2:08 PM

Post #1356564

I have been making rocks for a couple of years. I want big rocks that are moveable. I have tried various methods. The one I like best is to take stucco lath and shape it into a rock shape. The lath is fairly rigid, holds it shape and takes the mortar nicely. I use a pigment dyed mortar and slop it onto the lath...neatness does not count. The pigment is the same used to tint concrete and is readily available at Home Depot. While the mortar is still wet I then use a slurry of mortar and dye of a different color and splatter it on using a paintbrush and a flicking motion. I use several slurries of different colors to give a granite look. Some professionals use regular latex paint for splattering and say it holds up remarkably well. I like to use mortar slurry. IMPORTANT TIP: I also use polypro or nylon fiber in the mortar. This prevents cracking and allows me to have a very thin coat of mortar (about 1"). My rocks look big and heavy but can be moved by two people. This fiber can be obtained from a redi-mix outfit or online. You use about a handful per 1/4 yard of mortar. It must be mixed in well. It is very effective in preventing cracking. I can stand on my rocks. I often put waste styrofoam inside the lath form to give structure to the rock, but this is not necessary except to help mold the lath to a nice shape. I also take alot of time putting fissures and wrinkles and ridges in my rocks to make them look authentic. Most people are surprised when I tell them they are faux.

Thumbnail by jwkaren
Click the image for an enlarged view.

imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

March 23, 2005
2:20 PM

Post #1356587

That looks great!! Do you have photos of your technique?

John
jwkaren
Lafayette, CA

March 23, 2005
3:01 PM

Post #1356657

John-
If it stops raining today I will go out and take a picture of the lath and the dye bottles so you know what products I am talking about. The pic below is a rock under construction in which I used chicken wire over styrofoam with a visqeen interliner to prevent the mortar from falling through the wire. I have stopped using this method in favor of using the stucco lathing which is an expanded steel meshing product. It takes the mortar very well, allowing me to use a very thin coat of mortar. The only disadvantage is that it is fairly hard to bend into shape. I have learned to treat it rough. I bang on it, jump on it, drop it and generally wack at it to get it into the shape I want. That is why having some styrofoam inside helps give some overall shaping to the project. I also forgot another tip which makes for nice rocks. I use a white cement to make the mortar. If I am using the splatter technique I don't even dye it since it will be covered in the splattering anyway, and the white mortar makes for a nice white canvas. It also takes the dye nicely for tinting if you go that route. The disadvantage is it is way more expensive that plain portland cement. The fiber supplier is Fabcrete which you can find online. I try to get a link for you later.

Thumbnail by jwkaren
Click the image for an enlarged view.

jwkaren
Lafayette, CA

March 23, 2005
3:19 PM

Post #1356701

John
Here is a pic of the expanded mesh I use. It is readily available at the Depot or a stucco supplier. I assume it comes in larger sheets. It is reasonably priced. There is a guy in Australia who markets a video and supplies for making rocks. He uses welded wire and covers it with a plastic mesh which he attaches to the wire frame with metal hog rings. He sells this mesh by the square foot and it is very expensive. He sells dyes and other stuff. Google "Ezy Rock" for his site. I needed a more cost effective solution. It would cost you about $50 for a decent size rock using his system. My rocks are about $8, not counting labor, of course. BTW, I just attended a seminar at the San Francisco Garden Show last weekend and got a few good ideas for methods and a coloring product. I have not tried it yet. Will report on it later.

This message was edited Mar 23, 2005 8:20 AM

Thumbnail by jwkaren
Click the image for an enlarged view.

jwkaren
Lafayette, CA

March 23, 2005
3:25 PM

Post #1356729

John-
Here is a picture of one of the display gardens at the SF Garden Show this year. It was a garden made to look like a giant rock quarry or alpine rock grotto. The rock work was huge and very realistic. It included a bar and outdoor kitchen make from faux rocks.

Thumbnail by jwkaren
Click the image for an enlarged view.

imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

March 23, 2005
3:34 PM

Post #1356757

I suppose 1/4" hardware cloth would work too, wouldn't it?
jwkaren
Lafayette, CA

March 23, 2005
4:03 PM

Post #1356843

1/4" hardware cloth does not work very well. Holes are too big. Mortar falls right through. You would have to line with visqeen. Not worth the trouble. Also hardware cloth is pretty expensive. It will work if you use a very thick mortar I suppose, but I tried it and couldn't get it to work. Another technique which is similar to ones talked about on this forum is to form a mound of dirt the size of the rock you want. Cover it with large pieces of wet cardboard and slather your mortar on top. I have seen a video of this technique and there's no reason it won't work, altho I have never tried it. I like to form my rocks into more intricate shapes than just a lump of dirt would give you. I have discovered there are as many ways to make artificial rocks as there are rock-makers. The real trick is to get the rocks to look real. The most realistic rocks I have seen were in Ojai, California where the city landscaped its downtown in real and faux rocks. I believe they used a fiberglass process and imbedded fine sand in the plastic seal coat. They were absolutely realistic. In fact it was that which inspired me to take up rock-making. I am sure that process is very expensive. I am too poor ! I need cheap. The pic below shows the result of the splatter technique. I used black, white, gray and dark brown slurries as my splatter material.

Thumbnail by jwkaren
Click the image for an enlarged view.

trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

March 23, 2005
4:07 PM

Post #1356855

John, I have used both the 1/4 and 1/2 inch hardware cloth. Both work fine..

trois
jwkaren
Lafayette, CA

March 23, 2005
4:53 PM

Post #1356973

I believe Trois applies the mortar to sand piles. Is that right Trois? In that case the sand acts as a backer to support the mortar and you could use hardware cloth or chicken wire as reinforcement. But I make hollow shapes which are then covered with mortar. Hardware cloth, especially 1/2", would not give enough structure for the mortar to cling to and it falls right through. Thats what I like about the stucco mesh. Mortar really clings to it and you can go really thin with it and with the polypro fiber you get phenomenal strength with just an inch of mortar. I can stand on my rocks even tho they are only about an inch or so thick. If light weight is not a problem (as where you are not going to move them), then that it a completely different kettle of fish. I am going for moveable rocks. Or Trois maybe you had luck with the hardware cloth because your mortar is stickier than mine, or you are better at getting it to stick. I couldn't seem to get it to stick without some sort of backing material. I did use a mortar on another project (not rockmaking) and it seemed very sticky but it was way too expensive.
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

March 23, 2005
5:09 PM

Post #1357012

I seldom move rocks. I usually make them much too large anyway. I have made some entirely from expanding foam that were very light, and after painting passed as rocks. They will not support weight though. I use the regular ready mix for the bottom 2 inches and cover with a finer colored layer of about 1 inch. Then paint splatter. which has stayed on a very long time. Even if some of it peels, It doesn't bother the rock effect.
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

March 23, 2005
5:36 PM

Post #1357064

The gravels in quikrete should help plug the holes in hardware cloth, right? What do you guys think of color matching exterior paint with local rock? The concrete dyes aren't cheap.
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

March 23, 2005
5:55 PM

Post #1357118

The dyes are not cheap. I bought a large box of the powder several years ago, I think 25 pounds, and it lasted years and many projects. My first project was a duplex dog house that I covered with Terra Cotta concrete, with splattered paint. I still have chunks of this left after breaking it up when I sold the house. The color and the splatters still look good. It looked like a cave and the dogs loved it.
sugarweed
Jacksonville & Okeec, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 23, 2005
10:56 PM

Post #1357818

John, watch the bad mix piles at Paint stores. (Of course I'm so tight, I also use opps mixed togeather to paint the interior of my home.)
Pick up dark rejects, Latex only and go for it.

They now want people to pour out latex paints and let dry, then throw that away. I have a couple of gallons of some throw away green I might try to form-up for a small water bowl in a otherwise rough exterior.
Ya'll sure spark my imagination.
sugarfoot
Granbury, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 10, 2005
2:14 AM

Post #1458946

Spring has sprung...has anybody made any faux rocks a la Trois?
scooterbug
Tellico Plains, TN
(Zone 7b)

May 10, 2005
2:47 AM

Post #1459000

geeze sugar,

I have a bazillion things I wanted to do as soon as it warmed up here.

I feel like I don't know where to turn first ...

I guess the trois-rocks will have to wait while I get higher prority work done.

Sure would help if I got rid of some of my plant addictions, ya think ? ... lol

Why don't you go first with making rocks ? *snicker*

I'm off to strip more sod for new daylilies , irises & cannas.

toodles */;-)
imway2dumb
Gordonville, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 10, 2005
7:46 PM

Post #1460653

I have but, have stalled for now. Have to do some rototilling next then back to making rock. Sorry.
Equilibrium

December 27, 2005
12:29 PM

Post #1940930

I am resurrecting this thread for anyone else looking forward to spring and dreaming.
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

December 27, 2005
12:48 PM

Post #1940949

As soon as the weather cools again, I am going to start on a large one, about 15 feet by 35 feet long, but not very tall. This will be for setting pots on and will keep the weeds down. It will be our usual terra cotta color. This is in an area between 2 planter boxes. If all goes well.
trois
Equilibrium

December 27, 2005
1:21 PM

Post #1940967

Where are you purchasing the dyes for your mix? I presume you are purchasing in bulk when you undertake such phenomenal projects.

By far, your art in your yard is so natural looking it is almost as if it has been there forever. Breathtaking.
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

December 27, 2005
1:59 PM

Post #1941002

Since I make the rocks in layers, I only dye the final layer. This reduces the cost a great deal. There are commercial outlets that sell bulk dye powder. I will see if I can come up with a name or two. It has been years since I purchased bulk dye, and it lasts a long time. Bulding supply companies usually sell a thick liquid for that is much more expensive. Even so, It is not necessary to use at full strength or to mix perfectly. Doing so will not make an attractive rock. More later.
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

December 27, 2005
2:13 PM

Post #1941018

Google "Bulk Concrete dye" and you will find a wealth of information on dyes and stains, including sales places in your area.
Just remember that some splatters of different color will be needed on the final product to create a more natural looking rock. Also, avoid any smoothing on the final layer as it will look like someone made it. Do all the shaping in earlier stages. The final stage can be a thin liquid just thicker than paint unless there will be a lot of foot traffic, then it should be a bit thicker.
Equilibrium

December 27, 2005
2:44 PM

Post #1941065

Thank you!
scooterbug
Tellico Plains, TN
(Zone 7b)

December 27, 2005
9:48 PM

Post #1941550

Yay !

Good bump Equi.

Trois is an artist , I can hardly wait to see what his next project looks like.

Shirley
4paws
Citra, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 15, 2006
3:38 AM

Post #2113606

This is a fabulous idea, Trois - I'm excited to have stumbled on it. There are plenty of rocks here (amazingly not where I want to dig!) but getting one of the size I'd like where I'd like it isn't feasible. Scooterbug, I just saw your encouragement in another thread about how to handle the heavy bags, so I'm getting closer to starting something. Such great ideas here!
scooterbug
Tellico Plains, TN
(Zone 7b)

March 15, 2006
3:43 AM

Post #2113620


Hah,

I call it ' Divide and Conquer ' when it comes to handling the 90# bags of Portland *grin*

I wuz wondering when someone would bump this Classic thread again.

Thanks ;-)
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

March 15, 2006
12:28 PM

Post #2113944

Thanks for the comments. Our rocks are still holding up well. They have a fine crop of moss and lichens growing on them now.
I can no longer lift the heavy 80 or 90 pound bags. I can roll them. or in a pinch open and divide. Dust is a problem in this method, so calm days are required. I get a lot of remarks from visitors about never having seen rocks in this area before, and wondering how they got there, especially one that is 50 feet long and 12 feet wide, that just happens to border my lily pond. My next project is having to wait a bit as I am building a lattice Wall at the present.
trois
scooterbug
Tellico Plains, TN
(Zone 7b)

March 15, 2006
4:23 PM

Post #2114467

Hiya Trois,

Good news on your boulders/rocks.

Wind can be your friend iffn ya can set yourself upwind so the cement dust blows away from ya.

That's how I mix my large batches in the wheelbarrow, I hate wearing a mask unless I have to.
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

March 15, 2006
5:22 PM

Post #2114577

I was just referring about unloading from the back of the van. I totally agree about mixing in a wheelbarrow, as I have done many times the last few weeks. I will not wear a mask, just wait for better conditions.

trois
scooterbug
Tellico Plains, TN
(Zone 7b)

March 16, 2006
12:00 AM

Post #2115335

Yah, that's what I meant , turn your van around ... lol ;0)
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

March 16, 2006
1:57 AM

Post #2115602

lol
4paws
Citra, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 20, 2006
9:55 PM

Post #2126174

This project is getting closer, I just know it. I've been thinking about doing such a project for two years, but something's been holding me back (fear, generated by ignorance). Now I can actually "see" what I want to accomplish, if I could just be convinced I'm ready to start. Here are some questions.

How long after the first layer is applied can you wait for the second layer?

Most important, if I were to get the first layer done by noon and it rained that night, what would happen?

Is sandmix the same as cement readymix?

What do you do with mistakes?

Thank you.
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

March 20, 2006
11:58 PM

Post #2126471

1. When the first layer is crusted over, firm to finger touch. This presumes it was misted enough to get the top wet when the layer was completed.
2 It will probably be crusted over after 5 to 6 hours, then nothing bad will happen, unless it washes away underlying structure.
3. No, you need gravel, not sand mix. Adds strength.
4. Cover it with another layer, or remove the spot with a hammer. It will be easy for a couple of days. Then it will get hard.
4paws
Citra, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 21, 2006
12:10 AM

Post #2126498

Trois, in your directions 'way up there, you refered to "sandmix readymix cement," so I'm confused by your #3 answer.

So, if I don't get back to the second layer the next day, it should be ok?
Thank you.
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

March 21, 2006
12:54 AM

Post #2126570

Sorry for any confusion. I only use sandmix for the final layer. Not always then, only if I want a very smooth area.
You can wait as long as you want to add layers.
scooterbug
Tellico Plains, TN
(Zone 7b)

December 14, 2006
8:27 PM

Post #2999184

Time to wake up this Classic again ...
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

December 14, 2006
10:06 PM

Post #2999400

I had almost forgotten about this one.
enya_34
Madison, WI

December 15, 2006
11:05 PM

Post #3002386

This is a great thread. Just what I was looking for. Rocks built in place.
I have a slope where I am thinking of creating steps integrated into the dry stream.
That technique could be a way to accomplish the "integrated" stepping stones of
irregular shape. I have enough of the smaller boulders for the edging.
I probably could use old concrete old stepping stones to mold over for random shape

I love the way the rocks look as if they are coming out of the ground!
Aguane
Phoenix, AZ

December 15, 2006
11:20 PM

Post #3002408

Like this idea alot. You could really put anything in the garden for the form and cement over it. Like a mannequin laying in the backyard surrounded by greenery.
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

December 16, 2006
12:45 AM

Post #3002597

The easiest is sand, molded to the approximate shape. Layer until it is at least 3 inches thick. Mine are 8 years old now, look better all the time, with moss growing on them. We walk on them just like on rocks, and forget they are not.
GuardanGirl
Palm Bay, FL
(Zone 9b)

December 16, 2006
1:35 AM

Post #3002731

Trois:
I just had some stucco work done on my house and have a bunch of sand left in the driveway, was thinking of a good way to use it. I think this is perfect! Its very fine sand though... would it work?
Also I was wondering how did you get the height on the second rock you made for the " bucket'? is that all sand under it or did you use something else first?
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

December 16, 2006
1:52 AM

Post #3002796

The fine sand will work well, just make sure is is a little damp when you apply the cement. I used styrofoam for the bucket to build height.

trois
GuardanGirl
Palm Bay, FL
(Zone 9b)

December 16, 2006
2:15 AM

Post #3002875

OK good idea for the Styrofoam
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

December 16, 2006
2:40 AM

Post #3002955

Have fun!

psychw2

psychw2
(Pat) Kennewick, WA
(Zone 5b)

September 9, 2007
2:12 AM

Post #3952961

I can't believe I sat here and read the WHOLE thread and all the threads connected to it! I am eager to give this try... right after I get a hypertufa leaf bird bath made!

My thanks to all of you that contributed to the creative ideas.
Pat
trois
Santa Fe, TX
(Zone 9b)

September 9, 2007
3:19 AM

Post #3953156

Let me know how it works out. All of ours are still holding up fine.

trois
juliannefl
Brandon, FL

March 25, 2008
2:35 AM

Post #4705855

Found this sight tonight and I'm so excited! A question though, that may already have been answered: can I use this concept to create a bubbler fountain, or a faux waterfall? We have so few rocks here in my area of FL. And I hate the thought of buyng rocks.

I'm so glad I joined DG! It's like coming home.

Julianne
summerkid
Rose Lodge, OR
(Zone 8b)

March 25, 2008
2:38 AM

Post #4705866

Welcome, Julianne!

You can use the hypertuf & concrete installations in pretty much any way that concrete is normally used, which includes in-ground pools. So I would think a bubbler fountain would be a perfect first project.

Be sure to post pix!
scooterbug
Tellico Plains, TN
(Zone 7b)

March 25, 2008
3:10 AM

Post #4706037

You can use 'tufa for just about anything except for something to hold water you need a cement recipe.

Welcome Home , lol

Shirley

Thumbnail by scooterbug
Click the image for an enlarged view.

juliannefl
Brandon, FL

March 25, 2008
3:45 AM

Post #4706195

Thanks to you both. I've only skimmed the different threads to get a feel for the project basics ('cept for using 'tufa!). The hyperfuf and concrete photos, and the wonderful step-by-step instructions here have helped solve some problems I've run into with my latest garden feature.

With ideas like these, I could do some really cool stuff! (cool being the operative word here---hot flash coming on!)

Thanks again,

Juliannne

Happy_1

Happy_1
Fort Lauderdale, FL
(Zone 10b)

March 25, 2008
10:10 AM

Post #4706637

julia...

Are you going to the RU at Molly's this weekend?



Hap
scooterbug
Tellico Plains, TN
(Zone 7b)

March 25, 2008
10:20 PM

Post #4709026

Hiya Hap LTNT ♥


Julie Yeah,
you should try to make it over to Molly's FL Round Up . Maybe you can get a ride over with another local..

Here is the link
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/797862/


You will have a ball and meet some wonderful DG'ers .

Sorry that I totally missed your location last night , it was a looong day ;-)

Shirley

edited to add link

This message was edited Mar 25, 2008 5:23 PM

Happy_1

Happy_1
Fort Lauderdale, FL
(Zone 10b)

March 26, 2008
7:10 PM

Post #4712668

How have you been, scooter? Things are pretty good here. Garden starting to come alive..
scooterbug
Tellico Plains, TN
(Zone 7b)

March 26, 2008
8:13 PM

Post #4712918

Lucky you ♥☺
juliannefl
Brandon, FL

March 31, 2008
3:51 AM

Post #4733459

No, Hap, didn't realize/remember (?) there was one. Is there another RU coming up in the central FL area? I haven't been keeping up online. Saturday "the girls" (BFFs) and daughters spent the day at the Ren Fest. Sunday in the garden all day planting deep disount sale on Easter leftovers. Not sure I've met Molly yet. Hi Molly, if you're watching! I'm Julianne, nice to meet you. I'll belatedly check the link above.

Julianne
MollyD1953
Columbia, TN
(Zone 7b)

May 28, 2008
6:40 PM

Post #5016056

Did anyone who lives in zone 4b make these fake rocks? If so how did you avoid cracks in winter?

Thanks!
MollyD
JuneyBug
Dover AFB, DE
(Zone 7a)

January 12, 2009
5:51 PM

Post #5996661

Bump

How does this do with the freezing/thaw cycles?

Anybody?
pyromomma
Columbia, SC
(Zone 7b)

January 18, 2009
4:44 PM

Post #6019825

Juney, look up thread, it is discussed - possibly laying chicken wire for one layer to strengthen
JuneyBug
Dover AFB, DE
(Zone 7a)

January 18, 2009
9:47 PM

Post #6020888

Thanks, must have missed that.

edited to say: i missed it again. A person wrote of planning to put chicken wire on the sand and rocking over it, but she never came back to say if that worked or if she even built it.

I'm thinking that the chicken wire should be inside the concrete. Like, maybe put down a layer, when it firms up add the chicken wire and some more layers. Right or wrong?

and how thick does the sand base need to be to keep the rocks from being bothered by frost heave?



This message was edited Jan 18, 2009 3:57 PM
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

January 20, 2009
1:31 PM

Post #6027704

I've been waiting also to hear if anybody has had success with this method (with or without chicken wire) in areas subject to frost heave.
Jungleman
Pasadena, CA
(Zone 9b)

January 21, 2009
3:01 PM

Post #6031673

I love this project. I was thinking of making something out of hypertufa, but was kind of daunted by the whole mold and hold process. This makes it seem much more doable. I need some boulders around my place, so this will definitely be a project I take on!

Thanks!
Jeff
gardengal
se qld
Australia

January 21, 2009
8:13 PM

Post #6032862

If you were careful to make sure the wire was away from the sand, and that the cement mix went through the wire to the sand, it should be the same as putting a layer of cement, and then laying the wire.

blomma

blomma
Wyoming, WY
(Zone 4a)

April 7, 2009
4:45 AM

Post #6376066

A great site for decorative cement ideas to make, with instructions.

http://www.the-artistic-garden.com/forms-for-hypertufa.html
JuneyBug
Dover AFB, DE
(Zone 7a)

June 26, 2011
12:50 AM

Post #8655021

There are so many great ideas in this thread that I just had to 'bump' it back up to the top :-)
sonoranpoet
Cave Creek, AZ
(Zone 9b)

June 26, 2011
7:38 AM

Post #8655368

I've been a reader for years mostly plant i.d. and pest i.d. and that sort of thing. I have just recently delved into these forums. I'm very much interested in Faux Rocks for my little lot in AZ which I am doing over starting this winter. It's on a shoestring so I am hoping to cast my pavers and tiles for a bar in concrete, but I'd love to do some rocks also. This forum makes me happy I'm a member here! Thanks for bumping!
JuneyBug
Dover AFB, DE
(Zone 7a)

June 26, 2011
4:35 PM

Post #8656312

:-)

TrumpetFlowerz

TrumpetFlowerz
Ft Myers, FL
(Zone 10a)

March 26, 2013
10:44 AM

Post #9462647

Bumpety bump...great read. ☺

This message was edited Mar 26, 2013 1:45 PM

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Other Hypertufa and Concrete Threads you might be interested in:

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