Diggin’ rocks


Connecticut grows two things: trees and rocks.

One of the things you notice about Connecticut after driving the back roads for a while is the vast number of rock walls. They are everywhere. Some date back to the 1600’s when the first settlers landed on the east coast and moved inland a bit. While fighting off the elements and even the nomadic natives that considered Connecticut part of their territory, they attempted to plant and grow crops. First they had to cut down trees. Lots and lots of trees. Once they started pulling up stumps from all of those cut trees they must have been a bit upset to discover that they couldn’t plow a foot without hitting a rock, some very large. I can’t imagine the difficulties the original settlers faced trying to live on this new land as their ancestors lived in England and Europe.

My property has probably never been farmed since it is part of a large, hilly area. But my yard had 8 inches or so of topsoil brought in when the house was built in the 80’s. This gives anyone starting to dig a garden a false sense of potential. Yes, that first 6-8 inches is easy enough. But then you try to get that last 4-6 inches and you will hit a rock. Some as small as 6-8 inches across, but many 18-24 inches across. And then there are the boulders. You think they are just rocks. You know, the kind that you dig up and carry to start your own quaint, little rock wall with. But no, you keep digging down farther and farther until the dreaded realization hits that this sucker is monstrous. I have one of these in a front flower bed (well, actually one in a flower bed away from the house and another right near the front of the house). These typically become “focal points” of the landscaping. Yep, you just wrap your head around the idea that that rock is going noplace but up, one to two inches a year.

Well, there is one in my front vegetable garden, and I want it out! I went to my 22yo son and said, “There’s a boulder in my front garden. Any ideas on what I should do?” He looked at me, thought for about half a second and said, “Cover it back up.” He walked away. He is one smart kid. I’m feeling really ornery, though. I’m kind of mad at my life, my ex-husband, my situation, the feelings of powerlessness at our government, the state that I live in and its insane policies that are closing down companies right and left while declaring that they are the caring politicians. I’m pissed. And this boulder is getting a lot of that anger directed right at it. Better than some of the other ways I could express my frustration, right?

I started turning the front garden and then added about 7 feet that had not been turned last year. Both parts of the garden contained a lot of fairly large rocks. And then there is the boulder. It won’t wiggle, and we can’t even find the bottom yet.


After a little research it looks like the only way to deal with a boulder like this one is to drill holes in a line, insert a wooden wedge and split it, one small piece at a time. I might cover that thing up after all. And grow something with shallow roots in that area this year. But then again, how angry am I? I’ll let you know.


2 responses »

    • They sure do grow. The rock in the flower bed near the house started out about 6″ across. It is pushing 3 feet across now and getting bigger. I am so glad that it isn’t near the foundation or I would need to have it removed. Still not sure what I will do with the boulder in my garden. I want to learn how to split a rock anyway so this might be a good way to learn, even if I just cut a few inches off the top so I have a little more soil depth there. I’ll let you know 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s