Banquet Piece, Pieter Claez

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Why your dry creek garden look funny, and so does mine!

Not quite dry creek bed in Sunol Park.
When I was re-working our dry creek bed to make it look more natural, I googled and found the Town Mouse Country Mouse's blog page "Creating a Dry Creek Bed  - with Tips for a Natural Look". I pinned that helpful page and to my surprise it is one of the most re-pinned topics (right after log storage). That is why I titled this post in a somewhat cruel manner. I haven't actually seen your dry creek garden, but I know you are trying to make it look more natural!

In fact, I just ran across something about why streams meander with a great video.

I have found some other good pages on rock gardens and creeks and will post them later. But first, here are some pictures of actual dry creeks.

Studies in Nature I: Seasonally dry creeks

I like to study our local creeks to see what nature does. Many times, it's not what I expect. Here are some pictures from a recent trip up the creek at Sunol Park.

This set of rocks does not look settled at all. It's pretty dynamic. Check out all those little rocks that are nesting in the belly of this rock stack.

Here's a close up of some smaller rocks, caught (for now) below a larger rock.
These sycamore leaves get stuck on sticks that have caught on the rocks. It's early enough in the season that the leaves are still bunched there. I wonder who is taking advantage of those leaves.

Sometimes you get to see King snakes instead of just sticks in the rocks.
Another reason not to be too tidy in your own garden. The leaves are a wonderful color contrast to the rocks.

I see Jabba the Hutt when I look at this rock. Don't get me wrong, I like it. But there's something a bit animal about it. Like some big beast and his minions scrambling around.
Coffee Fern? Pellaea andromedifolia? Seeing this makes me just want to give up planting ferns. The directions for growing this fern is probably: wait 50 years for a spore to develop in the right spot, alternate with lots of rushing water, and hot hot days, and if you are lucky the fern will spring forth!

This big blue rock is definitely settled in here. Looks a bit like a whale surfacing on the ocean.

This is a really large rock and the stream has had to go around. The stream has painted some nice stripes on the rock. And many plants are trying to get a foot hold and will eventually pry some bits off.
This rock looks like a resting animal enjoying a shady spot in the grass.

That's it! That's what I want in my yard!
More on the history of gardening in Rock Gardens, One of the Branches of Gardening.

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