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June Roses

'Dublin Bay' with lupine and Clematis 'Jackmanii Superba' on our front gate I hope the colors in my rose photos come out okay as I suffered an accident involving a tree limb and my eyeball. Day one was agony (and of course it would happen on a Sunday) but I am feeling better today and after seeing my eye doctor this morning, I feel a lot better. It actually happened on a good weekend as the weather is too hot to be working in the garden. I decided to work on photos I've taken over the past few weeks to recuperate and escape the heat. Of course, that involves working on the computer and in Gimp in which great eyesight is needed. Bear with me! 'Lady of Shalott' The roses got off to a late start this year because of the cool spring. It has also been wet which has encouraged black spot. Powdery mildew doesn't seem to be as bad this year.  'Alchymist' 'Mary Rose' 'Marie Pavie' 'Lady Emma Hamilton' 'Gertrude Jekyll' bei

Creating a Pebble Mosaic

I've long admired pebble mosaics but never had the confidence to build one myself. Michael is more adventurous in these matters and was eager to take it on. The grass on the south tip of green strip in the Pan garden always looked bad after the winter months and I suspect the ground there is wetter. After we edged the borders with stones, I had an idea of replacing the tip of the grassy area with a pebble mosaic.

First, Michael hand selected some river rocks (from Yard N' Garden Land, of course).

First the base was created by digging down about 4-5 inches and filling in with a layer of paver gravel and a layer of sand

A layer of mortar mix was added on the top layer and smoothed out. 

Misting is an important step and must be continually done as the pebbles are applied.

I drew the design out on paper and Michael watched a YouTube video and learned that drawing out the design with a stick would be helpful.

Of course, doing it several times may be required to get what you want.

More misting and the beginnings of putting in the stones.

With Michael on one side and me on the other, it occurred to me that our drawing styles might not match. 

Michael's sprial ....

My spiral....

Michael's stones were also deeper than mine initially so I applied more muscle. We then started swapping sides as we progressed. 

After completing it, a coat of wet-look sealer was applied to the stones a day later.

I'm pleased with the results but for me, it was stressful work and getting down on my hands and knees is very taxing these days. I'm not sure if I'd want to tackle another project like this although Michael loved doing it and said he was ready for another one.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. It looks great! I love the pebble mosaics but no, I am probably beyond the stage where I could / would do it. Hurray for Michael. Hope he does more. Hurray for you, too, Phillip, for sacrificing your knees and back for a little while.

  2. Well done you two! I'm with you and this kind of thing would really stress me out. How nice that Michael enjoyed the work.

  3. Oh my gosh, I think it is great! I can't imagine being down on my knees for the time that it would take to make one of these. It sure looks like it is worth the misery. Carry on Michael...

  4. The two of you did a beautiful job! I'm suitably impressed.

  5. This is very cool: I love mosaic but rather fear I don't have the nerve to try it. Maybe on a small scale, like a single stepping stone... Good to have a partner that push you a little and I love how you switched sides while working, mixing up your styles its just perfect. I'd love to see what Michale comes up with next.

  6. Bravo! It looks wonderful. Great that Michael has an interest and involvement in your garden, too. It's lovely to collaborate on projects

  7. Bravo à vous deux, excellent travail, le rendu est très beau ♥


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