My head is full of rocks

M’s bestie was here working on our front yard yesterday, so the process of front landscaping has finally begun. My patience with homeowner projects has expanded in the last 5 years, because while it has been almost 3 years since the concrete was poured, we went for 2 years without stairs from the deck to the pool deck, and only now are getting the front yard landscaped.

While I feel as if I do not care all that much about the front landscaping, I probably do care more than I realize. M and I – we are not lawn or plant people. Among the happiest of times here in our home has been when M ripped out the shrubbery in the front of the house as well as all the jungle-like features in the back yard. Truth be told, if I could have done it, I probably would have had the entire front yard encased in concrete and been done with it. County ordinances forbid that, though, and getting rid of oak trees in our corner of the world is nearly impossible. They are a protected environmental thing and require a permit to remove. Ugh. Don’t even get me started.

Anyway, our plan is for very simple, minimalist, stark landscaping. This requires rocks. Big rocks. Little rocks. Retaining wall rocks. And there are whole businesses in the business of selling dirt and rocks. Who knew?

So M and I spent a good portion of my workday yesterday visiting places that stock rocks. Even in rocks, M and I have expensive tastes. EVERYTHING we like is the higher end of the price scale, and when you’re talking about inanimate objects that are sold by the pound, the difference between $0.23/pound to $0.32/pound makes a huge difference. M is waiting on prices for a couple of big giant pieces of granite to grace our front yard.

The retaining wall we are building is sold by the pallet, and what we liked is $462/pallet versus the $348/pallet of a rougher stone. Thankfully we only need 2, but still. This is long-term, permanent stuff, so we had better at least like it an awful lot if not outright love it. I was not unhappy with the higher price, and I still want what I want, but I probably would have been happier not knowing the cost of the less attractive to my eye solutions.

And finally, the rocks for a border strip next to the driveway – white dolamite is about 3 tmes the cost of the basic salt-and-pepper gravel. But M really wanted the dolomite from the very beginning, and with our newest hatch plan to purchase some smaller natural slate slabs to use as stepping stones where we walk the most the dolamite is going to look nice. Again, regular manufactured stepping stones would be so much cheaper by weight than the natural slate, but oh well. I do not imagine us remodeling the front yard ever again.

I don’t think I am complaining about cost so much as musing that our eyes are always drawn to the most expensive solutions and materials available. Before we found the dolomite, we were looking at some pretty rocks that would have cost us thousands of dollars. We still like them, but not for this application. It would have blown our entire budget and then some.

So, after a long wait, our landscaping is in progress and will be done before I know it.

But until we get everything selected, my head is almost literally filled with rocks.

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