OK, so about the rocks ... as seen above, I've finally gotten the moss rocks stacked to form a low wall/edging around the willow oak. I've trekked back and forth to the soil yard at least 3 times in the last week to pick up more rock to supplement the 3000 pound pallet of moss rock I started with. I did make a note of how much I bought on Monday: 977 pounds. That was done in two trips and yes, I unloaded it all myself (without injury to my back ... I was very careful.)
Below is the view from the street of the rock wall and the confounded dry stream bed that starts near the gate and runs down to the street. I say confounded because there's the crazymaking task of choosing and placing flat rocks to serve as stepping stones through the dry stream: just when I think the configuration is right, I take another look and hate what I see. Doubly confounded because I've lost count of how many times I've had to shift the dratted bull rock. I swear it's easier to move the big flat pieces ... but moving them it what causes me to redefine bed edges and necessitate bull (rock) shifting. After spending the better part of 4 days working on this area, I finally had an epiphany: I had reached my limit and I needed help! The good folks at Living Earth Technology, where I purchased the rock, referred me to a knowledgeable and helpful local landscaper: Edgar and his crew will be here Monday to work on placing the large rocks like the one below, my favorite of those I picked out. (I hear a song from the late 60s every time I look at it. Anyone know which one?) They will also be shifting the bull.
This is the view looking from the gate towards the street. Edgar and his crew will do some digging to better situate the rocks in their locations, to make the "stream" flow more naturally.
From the street, here's an overview of how it looks right now. To the right of the dry stream bed, I'll add more soil and plant that area out so things drape over the rocks a bit. The area to the left, though, is tricky. Building up and planting out the bare area on the left would still leave me with an area just in front of the rock border that needs to be accessible to foot traffic. I'm thinking I should create a flagstone path that meanders over to the sidewalk, starting at the curb and going up and over in front of the moss rock wall.
Here's the flagstone path I laid in front of the gate to the back gardens. I'm happy enough with how that turned out that I'm already plotting how to pave the path in back with flagstone. It really is similar to doing a jigsaw puzzle! When I first started working on that area, I could see that the flagstone was going to be too high for the gate to close properly. Then I remembered my new reciprocating saw: I whipped that baby out and cut off each picket about 2 inches and the gate closes just fine. It even looks good where I cut it. Where has the reciprocating saw been all my life????!!!!
And finally, a few shots of the courtyard, post renovation:
OK, don't laugh: I really think I need some bigger moss rocks to edge that small bed. I guess I'll head back to the soil yard next week!