One of my fave Zen-type activities is collecting beach rocks—the super smooth ones, rounded all over. It’s so satisfying to find the perfect rock! When I find one’s still a little wonky on the bottom, it gets thrown back to let the waves “finish” it. The benefit to finding and lugging bags of rocks from the beach is that they are so useful in the garden. 19th Century designer William Morris once said, “Never have anything in your home that is not beautiful or useful”: Beach rocks are both! Plus free!
1. Use rocks to weigh down lightweight containers. many of the new containers that are winter hardy—some that look like concrete—are very light. With light soil mixes as well, dry pots can easily tip over, especially top-heavy plantings like the one below. Weighing down the pot with a pretty collection of beach rocks solves the Tipping Point problem.
2. Use rocks as a natural, cool mulch on containers. Using stones of all one colour is most effective. Stones will keep soil cool and stop the soil from drying out so quickly. Use a newspaper layer beneath smaller rocks to stop them from mixing with the soil.
3. Create visual interest along a windowsill or any flat surface in the garden. A short trail of rocks acts like punctuation, a little treat for the eye.
4. Use to disguise an area where you have planted fall bulbs. Squirrels are attracted to smooth areas of freshly dug soil, and they will quickly unearth and gobble up bulbs you’ve planted if you don’t take steps to avoid it. The rocks also act as a physical barrier. The squirrels can’t lift the rocks to get underneath. With bulbs as expensive as they are, its proof that collecting rocks can save you money!