In the Garden > Gardening Tips, Books, Techniques and Tools
Rocks in the garden add interest and style to any design, whether it's around a pool, in a rockery of a Balinese style. But rocks can be expensive to buy and to install in the garden. That's why the art of rock making has become such a popular garden landscaping activity.
Keith Tutor is a landscape designer and rock maker who has made videos on the subject and teaches a course 'Landscaping on a Limited Budget'. The rocks and boulders can be made from recycled rubble for about $10-$18 a rock and each one takes about two hours to make.
How to make a rock
- Begin by looking at rocks. Take some photos or make some sketches and work out what you want them to look like.
- Start making the rock using some rubble as filler and cover with a concrete mix (four part blue metal, two part sand and one part cement) with a bit of fibre mesh added to the mix to help bind the concrete.
- When the concrete has set hard, put on the second coat of just sand-cement mix. This mix should be fairly dry because if it's too wet it is hard to shape the rock. Give the second coat a light rub on top.
- Then, using an old paintbrush and a chisel, shape the rock. Use the chisel to open up some natural cracks that occur in rocks by following some of the existing indentations in the concrete.
- The critical bit is developing the colours and texture of the rock. Keith uses inexpensive colour hardeners which are a mixture of an oxide with silica sand and dry cement which adds a granular effect to the rock.
- The four colours Keith uses are black, creamy white, slate grey and marigold yellow which give a natural rock look. Keith avoids using any brown colours which can make it look more like an artificial rock than a natural one.
- The greenish hues on the rocks are achieved by putting an acrylic based sealer (available from hardwares or stamped concrete suppliers) over the rock and sprinkling a mix of green and yellow oxides combined with sand over the sealer while it's wet and it sticks to it like glue.
For more details on making your own rock Keith Tutor has five very
popular DVDs available that show the many ways in which his methods
can be utilized in and around the home property.
Average cost is $39.95 per title (GST inclusive) plus postage.
Email contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Phone contact 02 66 556604. Dan Van Zanten... manager
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