Rock Gardens are widely known as a fantastic low-maintenance solution for yards. What many people don’t realize is that while rock gardens are truly low-maintenance, they involve quite a bit more than just throwing a bunch of rocks and plants willy-nilly all over the place. One of the issues that you will encounter when putting together your rock garden is how get that beautiful aged look on your clean new stones.
While there many people that want their rock garden to have that “new” stone look, in my experience, most want their rock garden to have that “Stonehenge” feel. A touch of age to the stones in your rock garden adds a sense of permanence and belonging to, what is essentially, an artificial landscape.
If you are fortunate enough to have all the necessary stones for your garden present on your property then ageing stones won’t really be an issue. If you are purchasing stones or bringing them in from elsewhere then there is a very good chance that they’ll be a little too “clean” and lack that feeling of permanence.
When we talk about “ageing” stone, what we are really talking about is moss. Adding age to stones “artificially” with rock moss is a fairly simple procedure and involves coating them with a special moss concoction. I am actually familiar with two recipes and, unfortunately, both involve moss and your blender.
The first recipe calls for equal parts moss sugar and two parts beer. The second recipe calls for equal parts moss and buttermilk. In both cases, the mixtures are pureed in the blender until a creamy consistency is achieved..
Once the mixture is prepared, all that is left to do is coat your stones with the mixture and mist them occasionally to keep them moist. The growth is anything but instantaneous but with a little time you’ll get that look you were hoping for.
The following is an excellent clip using the beer recipe. In the video, the gentleman is coating pots; however, the idea is exactly the same.
If the stones in your rock garden are just a little too clean and out of place with respect to the landscape and you are interested in adding a little touch of “eternity” to it then consider artificially growing moss. There is nothing that gives rocks that “the Vikings put me here” look quite like a touch of rock moss.