Rocks/stones for landscape plantings... not for suiseki

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Rocks/stones for landscape plantings... not for suiseki

Post  Gentleman G. on Thu Jun 23, 2011 7:51 am

What's goin on people??? While I'm waiting for my plants in training to mature, I'm drafting plans for Saikei, Penjing, and just landscape plantings in general and I'm having a hard time finding rocks... scratch I know what you're thinking, how could you have a hard time finding rocks??? Well, if you look at some Google earth pictures of the general area of South Texas I live in, you'll see there aren't alot of places that contain rocks. And, due to the fact I work full time and my wife goes to school (full time) and works part time (and us having a two year old), there's not a lot of time for travel. The local landscape stores and stone yards have nice flagstone slabs, etc. but not what I'm looking for. We also have a rock and mineral shop that has some lovely rocks (some of which cost $60+ per OUNCE), and again, not what I'm looking for. I guess I don't really know what I'm looking for, I'll just know it when I see it (I'm sure you can all relate). So, I figured I'd ask my fellow members here if y'all have any spare rocks you think fit the bill... If you think you have some, or wouldn't mind picking up a couple in your spare time (those of you who live near mountains) it would be cool if you could post some pics of 'em. I'll pay for postage (prefferably one of the USPS "if it fits, it ships" boxes) and a little extra, of course... I know this is an unusal request but I also know most bonsaists have plenty of old rocks layin around just lookin for a home. I'm just the guy to take 'em off your hands for you Cool And if you wanna just give 'em away for the postage that's even better, of course Laughing Thanks, everybody


G

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Re: Rocks/stones for landscape plantings... not for suiseki

Post  Todd Ellis on Thu Jun 23, 2011 12:31 pm

Hi Gentry,
I have a fondness for Texas Holey Rocks. They are limestone rocks that have holes in them (very popular with aquarium hobbiests) and are similar to Chinese Taihu Stones. There are a few vendors on eBay who sell them. Other vendors sell many different types of rocks. I will look around my yard but I must tell you; if I see a rock I like I tend to want to keep it for my planned rock wall. What sizes are you looking for?
Todd

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Re: Rocks/stones for landscape plantings... not for suiseki

Post  Gentleman G. on Thu Jun 23, 2011 1:10 pm

Thanks, Todd. I have looked into Texas holey rock, there's a ton of it around here... in peoples yards Sad I do plan on using a large piece for a rock planting on a suiban eventually. Currently I'm seeking "mountain" or "river" rocks (not round smooth ones though) of a small/medium size. I really don't think I'd need anything over 8 inches, 10 inches would almost be too large. Really just looking for "accent" rocks for Saikei, to form "ravines" and things of that nature. Jagged, multi "faceted" type rocks. Nice, but not quite nice enough to make a suiseki out of type of rocks...

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Re: Rocks/stones for landscape plantings... not for suiseki

Post  Guest on Thu Jun 23, 2011 1:45 pm

Gentry,
I have some nice rocks suitable for penjing, but would cost a lot sending them to you.
...Three rocks of with variable length is perfect for penjing. all must have of same character.

regards,
jun Smile

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Re: Rocks/stones for landscape plantings... not for suiseki

Post  Gentleman G. on Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:00 pm

Yeah, you're right Jun, that probably would cost a bit. That's why I'd prefer to get them from someone here in the U.S., we have "special" boxes that you can ship up to 75 pounds for a flat rate through the United States Postal Service... "If it fits, it ships" is their motto. I've been doing more research on both the subjects of Saikei and Penjing. I just recently finished reading "Saikei: Living Landscapes in Miniature" by Toshio Kawamoto and would like to get started on some traditional Saikei. Too bad shipping would probably kill me, thanks anyways, Jun. But, just out of curiosity, how much do you think shipping would run? I've also been looking at a type of rock for aquarium decoration called "lacerock", seems pretty interesting and is available locally.

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Re: Rocks/stones for landscape plantings... not for suiseki

Post  Guest on Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:49 pm

Gentleman G. wrote:Yeah, you're right Jun, that probably would cost a bit. That's why I'd prefer to get them from someone here in the U.S., we have "special" boxes that you can ship up to 75 pounds for a flat rate through the United States Postal Service... "If it fits, it ships" is their motto. I've been doing more research on both the subjects of Saikei and Penjing. I just recently finished reading "Saikei: Living Landscapes in Miniature" by Toshio Kawamoto and would like to get started on some traditional Saikei. Too bad shipping would probably kill me, thanks anyways, Jun. But, just out of curiosity, how much do you think shipping would run? I've also been looking at a type of rock for aquarium decoration called "lacerock", seems pretty interesting and is available locally.


I think it would cost 200US$ per 10kilos of rock...at the least.

regards,
jun Smile

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Re: Rocks/stones for landscape plantings... not for suiseki

Post  Gentleman G. on Thu Jun 23, 2011 3:53 pm

Haaaaa!!! That's definitely too much for some rocks Shocked I mean, maybe for an exquisite suiseki, but as far as ordinary rocks that's not gonna work. Thanks anyways, hopefully somebody else from the US will chime in eventually.

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Rocks/stones for landscape plantings... not for suiseki

Post  ironman on Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:13 pm

Since I am 150 miles from you, perhaps I can bring some on my next trip to CC...if I can lay my hands on a few Very Happy
I'll check around and see what I have...or can find.

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Re: Rocks/stones for landscape plantings... not for suiseki

Post  Gentleman G. on Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:18 pm

Anything you can scrounge up would be awesome! Thanks, Ironman.

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Re: Rocks/stones for landscape plantings... not for suiseki

Post  Guest on Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:06 pm

Hey G

I cant help supplying any stone for your projects but...

With thicker flagstones you can break them up into chunks that will vary in shape depending on the structure of the stone and a nice flat base (faced edge) for then to sit on Wink If you can get a nice size landscape piece the possibilities are endless, as your using them in landscapes etc patina can mature along with the rest of the design. I recently split a large (300kg) piece of sandstone to make paving, this 60cm long piece was a bonus.


It now resides in my bonsai area getting the same loving care as my trees. With sandstone (and other porous stone) it takes only a few years to see some real patina developing. This can be sped up using moss milkshakes & the like to seed it. Growth of lichen & moss is greatly increased with regular care but to get a covering like the following will still take a few decades, seed or not.


Matt

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Re: Rocks/stones for landscape plantings... not for suiseki

Post  Gentleman G. on Sat Jun 25, 2011 4:48 pm

Thanks, Matt. I do have access to and have used flagstones, both as slabs (bases) and also I've broken them into smaller pieces for "accent" rocks. The results were pleasing and I will probably use this method again in the future. However, I'm looking for more naturally shaped rocks that are slightly rounded yet still jagged (if that makes sense). Something kind of like these...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cowtools/298114883/


Or perhaps these...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/princebart/4363259335/


Even something as simple as this...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/aido_bonsai/4568039625/


I know it sounds pretty ridiculous, but there aren't really any areas near where I live that have rocks like these. It's all plains for at least 100 miles till you get closer to the "hill country", and even there the rocks are practically all limestone (and not even holey rock at that). Eventually I plan on taking some trips to areas where I can collect rocks, just looking for something to do to pass time until then. I just cant see paying "Suiseki $$$" for a rock to be used in a landscape... Guess I'll just keep checking the quarries and landscape stores till something pops up. Thanks for the tip though.


G

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Re: Rocks/stones for landscape plantings... not for suiseki

Post  fiona on Sat Jun 25, 2011 8:11 pm

Obviously I can't send rocks over the pond to you though I would were it practical and not expensive to do so. Very Happy Just to augment your reading/research, have you read Quinquan Zhao's wonderful Penjing: Worlds of Wonderment? It gives some ideas of what you can do to create landscapes with smaller rocks.

Also, if you can't get 'em, why not make 'em? You seem like a chap who is creative and there are many "recipes" and plans out in the ether for how to make artificial rocks. Another great book (or at least one I like) is Creating Bonsai Landscapes by Su Chin Ee. As well as giving you some landscape ideas it shows you how to make the "rocks".

Hope that is of some use to you, Good luck.

fiona
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Re: Rocks/stones for landscape plantings... not for suiseki

Post  Gentleman G. on Sat Jun 25, 2011 9:40 pm

Thanks, Fiona. Yes, I have read Worlds of Wonderment and found it very helpful. I haven't read the other book you mentioned, but I have thought about making the rocks. I plan on making rocks for one/some projects, but not all of them. For most, I'd like to use natural rocks as much as possible. I will be making a trip to the central Texas area again soon, perhaps I'll have better luck finding stones this time. Thanks again for your response, I'll look into getting a copy of that book.


G

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Re: Rocks/stones for landscape plantings... not for suiseki

Post  jolz on Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:09 am

How about these guys, where do you think these 3 stones will probably fit?
Regards,
Jolz


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Re: Rocks/stones for landscape plantings... not for suiseki

Post  fiona on Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:17 am

jolz wrote:How about these guys, where do you think these 3 stones will probably fit?
I'm seriously struggling to keep a straight face here.

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Re: Rocks/stones for landscape plantings... not for suiseki

Post  Gentleman G. on Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:44 am

Bwahahahahahaaaaaaa!!!! Good thing I didn't have a mouthful of drink!!! If I wasn't so young and in such great working order I might pay to have that last one shipped lol! Ahhhh, man, I needed a good laugh! Thanks. On a more serious note, I now have access to 2 different kilns (one's electric, the other I'll be checking out tomorrow) so I'll be working at making some pots/rocks. I've been doing some research on using/making "texture mats" out of rubber. Since I've found rocks with the right texture but the wrong shape, this may be the perfect solution! I could also use hemp rope/twine wrapped around some "rocks" to mimic those found that have been enveloped in roots at some time. Salt firing also produces interesting results (though I hear it's tough on certain kilns), and I've also heard of people using coffee grounds or wood shavings. Even something as simple as the technique I used to make my mini "lava rocks" I used in my mini backyard landscape (just poked a broken stick into the clay until I reached the desired texture). I'm open to any other ideas anybody may have... This may be a fun little project, one I can even let my two year old help with (since she doesn't help me with everything else already Smile )! It may be a while before I get anything fired, but when I do I'll definitely post my results on a new thread here. Thanks for the interest and suggestions everybody!


G

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Got Rocks?

Post  RKatzin on Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:35 am

Hey G, been reading your post and may be able to offer some relief. Up here in the GPNW we have tons of rocks, lots of volcanic debris and pyroclastic formation. The stuff is feather light, big chunks of pumice are only a few pounds and will actually float on water when they are dry. there is some other stuff that looks like styrofoam, but it's rock, a crust that forms on the surface of a pyroclastic mud flow as it cools and all the gases are passing out leaving thousands of tiny perforations. Volcanic cinders are nice to work with and are not very heavy, the reds are lighter than the gray or blacks. The pumice is soft and can be cut to shape with a dull knife. Holes and pockets are easily fashioned, I've made stone pots by digging out the center of a chunk of pumice. The stone will absorb water and you can water by setting the stone in water until it's full. Anyway, before I start to ramble, oop, too late, ha, be glad to ship you a boxfull or just bring your pickup and get a life time supply in one trip. I could meet you in Vegas, just a thought.

RKatzin
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Re: Rocks/stones for landscape plantings... not for suiseki

Post  Gentleman G. on Sun Jun 26, 2011 10:59 pm

Thanks, RKatzin! That'd be awesome. If it's not too much of a hassle, wanna see what you can round up and shoot some pics? I've made a couple more trips to the local spots, and still nothing. I even looked through some rock bins that I'd already checked, just to make sure I didn't miss anything. I've all but given up on finding anything down here. All the stones I see that I like/could use are in peoples landscapes, and I'm way past the point in my life where I'd take something that isn't mine. Maybe one day one of my neighbors will be outside and I can ask if I can snatch up a couple Laughing Guess it's time to plan a rock hunting trip... Any suggestions for a good place to start???

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Re: Rocks/stones for landscape plantings... not for suiseki

Post  RKatzin on Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:18 am

I find many rocks at two types of businesses, one is a block and stone store selling masonry supplies.They sell by the pound and keep bins of rock from all over. Flagstone, sandstone, limestone, lots of colorful stuff from Arizona and New Mexico, all for patio pavers and landscaping. The other place is a pond supply outfit and they carry lots of interesting stones that are used to make cascading waterfalls and pond surrounds. Fish stores are a good place to check out. They often have some cool rocks for putting in aquariums.This is some of the pumice with a moss coveringand one plain.Here is some of the red cinder with Japanese Maples planted in holes in it. I have lots of chunks of the pumice rocks. PM me and I'll load a box for you if you can't find anything at places I mentioned.

RKatzin
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Re: Rocks/stones for landscape plantings... not for suiseki

Post  Gentleman G. on Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:22 am

Cool! I've been to a couple of aquarium stores, that's where I first saw lacerock. I've found a couple of online dealers of aquarium/terrarium supplies that carry various rocks too. I'll check into a couple more things, then I may still end up getting a few rocks from you too. Thanks again, man!


G

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Re: Rocks/stones for landscape plantings... not for suiseki

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