Bill loves rocks. He has harvested our fence rows, bought rocks from quarries, created garden rockeries, built a henge, and constructed numerous stone walls. When he turned fifty we celebrated with a party and each of our guests brought him a rock, some wrapped up in boxes, some on the forks of front end loaders.
On our farm we have just two very large glacial erratics which is strange if you are familiar with this part of Grey County, famous as Stoney Keppel. An older visitor who spent time on our farm as a young man told us all the large rocks were taken and used to shore up the Big Bay dock many years ago. That explained the dearth of large rocks.
Bill has used the rocks found on the farm throughout the gardens.
Local rocks were also used to construct the Memorial Wall at Big Bay Cemetery.
Two rocks have tantalized Bill for years by poking above ground just a little and suggesting there might be much more below. This fall he hired Paul Jones who sent his operator and his backhoe and the Big Dig began. Soon the first rock was pried out of the ground and pushed along to the gardens.
After this success Bill asked the operator to unearth another rock. An edge of this rock has poked up in a pasture and defied all attempts to remove it for twenty years.
The job was too much for this piece of equipment. The rock wouldn’t budge! Bill was pleased to know that Paul would come the next day with a high hoe, a larger digger. You can see by the green lichen patch how much of the rock was protruding above ground level.
Getting the rock moved into the garden meant that Bill had to temporarily take down two sections of a rail fence. The rock will become an integral part of this portion of Keppel Croft Gardens.
The large rock is as yet unnamed. It’s sitting in its garden space and Bill will spend part of the winter planning the landscaping to go with this rock. The rain has washed off a lot of the earth and we are seeing lots of colour in the rock.
We have decided to call this the Lewis Rock as it reminds us of the rocks we saw in standing stone circles on the Isle of Lewis. The rain has washed a lot of the earth off the surface and we are noticing very intriguing striations on each side. Bill plans to have just a mowing edge around this rock.
Thanks, Paul, for that spectacular effort! The new additions to Bill's rock collection have finally seen the light of day after thousands of years.
Bill gave Mother Nature a hand in cleaning off the big rock. He brushed off the clinging earth with a corn broom and rinsed the rock off afterwards.
The large rock is multicoloured. There are a number of little crevices that Bill plans to use as mini-gardens. He'll plant these up in the spring.
Viewed from this side the rock takes on the look of a creature's head. Its wee smile makes it seem that it is somewhat bemused to be above ground.