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Setting stones at Asticou Garden

If you visited the Asticou Azalea Garden last season, you may have noticed the painted lines on the lawn to the west of the pond and wondered what they were marking. They are part of a long-term project to renovate this landscape with the addition of stones and plantings.  

At the end of October 2022, the garden crew started the extensive task of setting more than a dozen new stones in the ground. The stones were selected over the years from various Preserve properties as well as donated by generous friends. Garden Manager, Mary Roper, spent countless hours determining exact placement locations for each unique stone, positioning them to feel natural in the surrounding landscape. A set line was marked on every stone to establish how much would be visible above the ground. Then the below-ground section of the stone was measured to determine the required depth for each hole, leaving room to add in at least 8" of gravel to stabilize the base.  

With the holes dug, gravel bases filled, and stones marked, it was time to bring in the big equipment. Normally, projects at the garden are completed primarily with hand tools, but these stones were too large. A crew from Freshwater Stone came with a boom truck to move the stones from their storage location to the site. Each stone was swung into place by the arm of the boom, lowered and adjusted, then set.  

When the garden crew starts again this spring the stones will get some final adjustments, settling into the landscape like they have always been there.  

Click here for a quick video of one of the stones being placed. 

Read Mary Roper's account of the design and planning for this project, from March 2021.

By Grace Brown, Lead Gardener, Asticou & Plant Recorder

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