I know, I know. I promised more pictures of Seville. I swear I am working on doing just that. But I have discovered that there are an awful lot of images to go through. Decisions on what to post, how to organize the post, trying to pick out the outstanding images from the hundreds of photos I took is taking more time than I thought it would, especially since I have been obsessively working in the stroll garden.
What I have learned about travelling to distant places from the process of going through pictures is that what seems commonplace to the inhabitants of an area becomes amazing and wonderful when viewed by eyes that are not inured to the view. One of the things that started to obsess me in Spain was the amazing tile work. I could, and very well may, concoct an entire post of nothing but tiles. So, my decision making process becomes even more complex as I look through the pictures.
“Am I going to make an entire post about tiles? If so, should I include some of the tile work in my post about the Alcázar and its gardens, or save it for the later post?” These and other ruminations complicate my decision making process. Ruminations like: “Why did I take a picture of THAT?” “Geez this is so out of focus.” “Oh my heavenly days what on earth made me think I would get a clear picture in the dark?” “I should be walking the dog.” “I need to weed the vegetable garden.” “Oops, that is a massage client knocking on my door, better get to work.”
So, dear readers, you will notice that the title of this post says nothing about Spain and everything about what has beeen my work obsession in the yard this last few weeks. And so, without further ado, I present to you the completed rain garden section of the Stroll Garden as it looked last night after the plants and mulch had been installed.
I just had to run outside and snap that after we got a 3/4 inch downpour and the area I had dug out neatly filled with water, just as it was supposed to. Now, this vision made me hot to finish the job, and so I got busy and dug and moved the rest of the dirt in there, coincidentally finishing the backfilling in the rose garden that is just to the right of the rain garden in the above pictures.
Once I had the area shaped, we moved the character rocks in and set them on their bed of road base. This process was not as simple as it sounds, since this necessitated viewing the rocks at all angles, assessing their energy and flow, and rearranging them probably 6 or 8 times before they looked “comfortable”. This even after we had been looking at them and arranging them for at least the past 4 months in various places around the garden area. (If you look closely in the above pictures, you can see that the arrangement of three rocks has been adjusted from one picture to the other.) It seems that an arrangement that looks wonderful over by the fence where it is viewed from two or three vantage points is not necessarily the one that looks appropriate when the rocks are viewed from all sides.
I also had to consult my references to find out what mulching agent was deemed correct by the “experts” on rain gardens. I was thinking “gravel”, but every reference told me I should mulch with aged shredded hardwood, assuring the dear reader that it would not float. This does not seem intuitively obvious to me, believing (as many folks do) that wood usually floats. However, I set aside my prejudices and mulched with the suggested medium, commenting to Jim that “If this stuff floats when the garden is full of water, I am going to be pissed.” This was partially motivated by one of our design features, which is the little “creek bed” of rock that runs from the “spring” (where the water from our downspout enters the garden) to where the character rocks are.
This morning, less that 24 hours after completion, we had a “scattered thunderstorm” come through the area and give us enough rain to put water in the rain garden. In this picture, the line of rocks at the top is the border of the rose garden area.
Notice, the mulch is not floating. Now, a close up of the little spring area, which I really like a lot.
Now, back to crunching pictures of Seville.