The Secret Life of Stones

Large stones are my favorite garden elements. With a little time many interesting non-flowering plants begin to grow on a rock. Embryophytes like ferns and mosses follow lichens, which are a combination of compatible algae and fungi.

Lichens have a good hold on this rock.

Buffy, showing where bits of moss are starting to grow among the lichens. Buffy likes to gnaw crumbling limestone rocks.

One of the stones that have been in my garden longest, this one not only has several kinds of moss, it has common polypody fern and a little spleenwort. I did nothing to attract the ferns; moss was encouraged with leftover buttermilk poured on every stone.

Notice little fingers of the moss beginning to spread.

Bare rocks with fossils are interesting. Our limestone rocks underground hold many different sea creatures from the time when the coastal plain was under the sea. Imprints of mussel or clam shells are commonly seen.

Algae growing on this rock is a precursor to lichens and moss.

Water has dissolved limestone in places, leaving depressions, sometimes large enough for a birdbath. Used for a birdbath, this stone, roughly 2 feet square, has moss growing from the constant damp.

Stones are not common on the ground here. They are usually underground. You may see piles of huge limestone rocks along the side of a cleared field where they were dug out to make cultivation easier. The stones in my front beds were mostly dug in one field and hauled in.

Stones hold the history of the World. Thank you for looking at my Rocks, as precious to me as Diamonds.

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