25 April 2019

Garden Grands

I came home from Ride the Rockies several years ago to find my garden had fried. Literally all of my flowers, inside the house and out, were dead.

Heat and the year's drought had done them in, even though a neighbor had tried keeping my outdoor plants watered.

The following weekend, during the MS-150, while riding my bicycle from Westminster to Fort Collins in more of that unprecedented heat, I remembered something I learned at all the cycling clinics I've ever attended. Ride organizers (and sometimes pro cyclists) always told us not to wear cotton - like T-shirts or jeans - because it does not wick the sweat away from our skin but keeps it right there close to our bodies.

An idea struck.

What if I put cotton around rocks in the garden and made sure the cotton got as saturated as the plants? Would the cotton help my plants survive summer heat?

When I got back home, I put a few snowflakes around smooth river rocks, placed them strategically in my garden, and turned down all my neighbors who pleaded with me to do their gardens next.

Now, here I am, seven or eight years later, and my plants with moisture-laden rocks are still holding up nicely during hot, dry weather. They look pretty, too, and my neighbors are still asking me if I will do their gardens next.

This year, I decided to try to use up all my store-bought bright and colorful crochet thread because I use mostly my own hand-dyed colors now. I wondered how long the store-bought colors would last in the sun. They will bleach with time, but they might look really cool for a year or two, then look pastel for a year or two, and then they'll match all the other rocks in my garden!

Then I got this wild and crazy idea, just ten days or so before Easter, to make "dinosaur egg" rocks for my grands and my little neighbors to give them with seeds for their baskets this year. 18 rocks in 10 days was a pretty tall order!!!

But I did it! I even got the patterns written for the seven with snowflake designs.

The best part was receiving photos from the families on Easter showing the joy I had hoped to create.

When I first began crocheting for the grandrocks, I didn't think I'd have enough yellow to complete the project. Man, was I bummed! I decided to go ahead and order more, even though yellow is my least favorite color for snowflakes ("watch out where the huskies go..."), knowing I'd be able to use it up eventually.

As it turned out, I had a teensy amount of yellow left when I finished. Well, a microscopic ball of yellow thread, and a whole brand new and unopened spool of yellow thread. I kind of wished I had waited. But...

I also couldn't resist a new ombre I'd never before seen. I darn near bought three spools of it! I managed a tiny bit of self-control and bought only one.

Then the Notre Dame fire happened, and suddenly that new thread took on a whole new light. I fashioned a mandala, inspired by the Rose Windows that survived. I then had to fight the urge to buy more of the "blacklight" colorway because the mandala came out so cool.

I have more than enough crochet thread to last through about the next 20 or so years of rocks for my garden, my grandkids' gardens, and maybe even the neighbors' gardens. Perhaps I should open up my own crochet thread store...

If only I could go through the colors as fast as I go through the white!

Linking up with Busy Hands Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Alycia Quilts.


  1. Wowzers, those rocks are amazing. What a fun project for Easter too. Love it.

    1. Thank you, Carla! There were moments when I didn't think I could finish on time, but I'm so glad I persevered! I can't believe how excited the kids got over a box of rocks!

  2. Oh my stars!!!! I love that idea!! and I love all the rocks - how pretty!!

  3. That is one of the most fabulous ideas I have ever seen! Doilies on rocks that keep plants alive. I am ever so amazed.

    1. Thank you, Michelle. Definitely dresses up the garden a bit, and I love that the cotton helps the flowers through the dry spells.

  4. I am in awe and admiration of all the needlework you have made from the basic applique to the beautiful colors and rainbows. Yes, maybe you should open a business.

    1. Thank you, Time4Stitchn. I have sold a few rocks during our annual Christmas craft fair, but I had not considered a business, really...

  5. Beautiful designs for your moisture-laden rocks! What a great idea!

    1. Thank you, Suze. It truly does help the garden, both visually and quenching summer thirst!

  6. what fun rocks, and an even better garden. tiny bit jealous...

    1. Thank you, Jennifer! Several of my neighbors have made similar comments. :)


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