“Steady as a Rock,” “Solid as a Rock,” “Rock of Ages,” “Love You like a Rock”—pretty good indications that rocks have “Purpose,” wouldn’t you say? We’ll achieve a balance by leaving the esoteric and move into the practical aspect of their existence, shall we? We will also take a closer look at designing with rocks.
Out and about
Since we’re headed for designing with rocks, we’ll start with the more mundane uses and move into the decorative to illustrate their significance in the landscape. Some people know how to
design riprap. Some don’t.
Some people can design rock supports. Some can’t.
Engineering and Art
Having a feel for the rock’s center of gravity (purpose) helps in creating a stable design, requiring no “glue” or connections.
Actually it’s an art form, in popular practice today, with several books written on the subject—best known being: “Center of Gravity: A Guide to the Practice of Rock Balancing,” by Peter Juhl. How fascinating and a good start for our purposes as well.
In our search to landscape with rock, we’ll want to look at walls, sculptures, garden settings, support elements and natural formations to fire up our aspirations to achieve, not only a connection with rocks, but to add to our unique and inspired design vocabulary. Another nice thing about rocks as design elements is that they’re easily sold to owners as maintenance-free and an artistic element commonly admired.
Called a “Gabion” wall because it holds rocks within a metal grid confinement, apparently it’s a retaining wall and… a nice idea for address signage. Hard to tell the scale, but it looks significant enough to be commercial. Definitely an original design and quite handsome, this type of rock treatment runs around the country.
This special place can be found off Caves Road, 3 hours south of Perth (on the way to Margaret River). The relentless crashing of the turbulent Indian Ocean waves have carved out a series of canals, leaving crests of weathered, granite rocks.
This spiral is a wonderful example of mastering the art of geometry to achieve a unique contribution to the landscape. Enjoy it at Mt. Tomah, along with other lovely features.
Can’t resist this designer’s sense of “delightful” in playing the delicate scale and joyful plant colors against the brooding gray gravity of big, clunky rocks. Then put an orb in there, just to catch the eye. Nice.
How could you prevent a smile from breaking out looking at something like this? The folks on Bruny Island started it and the occasional passerby adds to it over time. How lovely is that?