Rockin’ and rollin’

25 Jul

Despite the subjects of recent posts, there are actually some projects going on around the Casa O’Brightman. (For those of you outside the family circle, O’Brightman is our family name, an invented combination of O’Briant and Dightman.) Our current favorite project (and that of the children for reasons you shall soon understand) is the rockery.

In front of the house was a long area of wood planks with something like an empty bed beneath. We are not entirely sure what they were there for except that they do provide a nice walkway under the eave during rain and yucky weather.

But style before convenience, you know. We have decided to remove the wood planks and make ourselves a rockery. A rockery is a rock garden that can also feature a few specific specimens of plants and are very indicative of mid-century modern landscaping.

Rocks, you know, can be expensive. And I really love those smooth black rocks that I have learned are polished Mexican beach pebbles. (Though I can’t imagine how ‘local’ Mexican beach pebbles are….hmmm?) They are definitely not cheap having traveled all the way from Mexico.

What are cheap are river stones from the Northwest, which we have in abundance all over our yard for reasons I cannot really comprehend.  They are everywhere.  And they are lovely, don’t get me wrong, but there is something about those shiny black rocks that screams modern to me. Screams it, I tell you. (Those red flag markers are for Molly and Baker’s invisible fence training, which is going quite nicely, thank you.)

Now taking all those rocks from the back yard and moving them in a wheelbarrow to the future front rockery is back breaking work. And what does one do when one has back-breaking work and four children? You guessed it! Child labor. Paid, of course. Brett offered them five-dollars per wheelbarrow of rocks transported from the backyard to the rockery in the front. This seemed fair to us until we saw how quickly they were able to fill and transport a wheelbarrow full of rocks…about 4 an hour.  Hmmm.  That’s $20 buckaroos an hour in a state where the minimum wage is $8.67. I think there is something a little off here. Then we put restrictions on it…no dirt, no weeds. (With dirt and weeds, they got $2 a wheelbarrow.) One of our children is particularly motivated by money apparently. And very exacting. God love the girls for such detail and industry. But we may need to rethink the payment system for this project.

The plan is to fill it 4/5 full with the river rocks from the backyard and top it off with the coveted Mexican beach pebbles. Et voila! We are almost there. Can’t wait to show you the final results. We welcome suggestions for which plants we should highlight in the new rockery.


7 Responses to “Rockin’ and rollin’”

  1. Anna July 25, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

    Is there any way to do some kind of spray-shellac on the rocks you already have, maybe with an air compressor like you would use to paint a house?

  2. Trish July 25, 2011 at 10:57 am #

    You could go “zen” and feature larger rocks in strategic places. For plants, (and this might sound strange in the PNW) tropical.


  3. Andy Pierce July 25, 2011 at 7:51 am #

    Too funny… Can’t wait to see the final product.

    Do you have pics to show the progress?

    • Brandy July 25, 2011 at 10:54 am #

      Totally…I thought I had put it in there. Stay tuned for an update.


  1. Finally putting color on the walls | mid-century MODERN LOVE - August 24, 2011

    […] have to do too much of the painting. He spent his day doing much more difficult labor on the rockery and drainage outside, an update on that coming soon. He did say to me later that he thought I did a […]

  2. Dizzying Heights | mid-century MODERN LOVE - August 6, 2011

    […] fort of their own, being not exactly welcome in Ainsley’s sanctuary. They used the wood from the rockery for a floor, which Maeve and Hailey dragged down with Hannah as the ‘supervisor’. Fort […]

  3. Pinterest Game On! | mid-century MODERN LOVE - July 27, 2011

    […] If we could find the Eames chair-legs for less than $100, Brett could totally pull off this DIY bench with the wood from the rockery project. […]

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