Hopalong Hollow....

Hopalong Hollow, where the Blueberries grow sweet, and the moss feels soft beneath your feet.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Stone walls, Bee boles and Peacocks in the Periwinkle.

I must be part Irish... 

  because I love to build stone walls... Mine are not as long as I would wish them to be, for it just isn't easy to get all that many stones, when you have to gather them one by one, with an aging back and bad knees.Therefore, I use what I have and stack them as high or as long as my stone stash will allow. 
The newest wall borders the front yard garden bed, where once upon a time, there lay nothing but a boring lawn.
 But not anymore!
This bed is full of Iris, Daylilly, various perennials, hosta, hydrangea, bee balm, coneflowers and foxgloves. They are just coming up through the earth at this point... how thrilling!
I know it must look a mess, but a week ago, this was practically barren.
Below, here it is 7 days later... WHOA!!!
We use a lot of salvaged brick, brickbats, found stone, pickets, fencing and timbers around here. I love the aged look of these materials. My garden style is something I made up.... I call it Hopalong Hollowscaping.

Building a dry stack stone wall is something of an art form.
You must fit the pieces together like a puzzle,
 the stones must support one another in such a way as to prevent the wall from tumbling down.


We gather these stones from the hollow, the creek, the meadows and fields. We lucked out last year when a road crew dumped a huge load in our driveway... at our request. THAT was like getting a pot o gold!  
 Someday, I hope to acquire enough stone to build a REALLY tall wall, but for now, I think this one is just dandy. This is the opposite side of it, which faces Wee Minnow Brooke.

You know your stone wall is a big success, when a rooster crows atop it...
and a kitty takes a stroll all the way across the entire breadth.
There were enough stones left over from this weeks job,to build a bee bole.
The Bar Beehive sits atop. It will be filled with bees as soon as my order comes in!!!
 The bee skeps beneath are just for looks, I doubt any bees will visit them when such a nice condo is sitting above. But don't you adore bee skeps?

The bee bole is near a water source, facing southeast and in a protected area. That is what the bee bible tells me to do. This is my first year raising Honeybees, so I am very excited.

I built the one below, last year, in front of a side garden.

You can see how the stones fit nicely together.. My knees were in bad shape after this job, but I didn't mind, this wall will last a life- time.

I have been painting bees for my book and it really puts one in the mood for gardening!
An early Spring in the Hollow would not be complete without Peacocks spreading their new feathers amongst the blooms
Can you see the tail in the violets and periwinkle?
 The Peabody boys are now 2 years old and are fully feathered
They will show those tails to ANYONE who cares to view...

I have just been ambushed by Hans Peabody.

But Demelza, the red feathered beauty, is not impressed, she has seen this act before.
She just yawns and continues her sunbath.
 Good grief, this is so amazing... everything is coming up! My gardens are full of Iris blades and all those plants I thought I murdered last year.
 (If I had one dollar for every plant I've killed, I could hire a REAL gardener.)
Last year I signed books at a garden show and came home with 7 Japanese Maples ( it was a trade... don't you just love barter?!) The one above is quite lovely and doing well.
Here is another garden simply lined in stones and salvaged brick.


Of course, plenty of weeds have returned. But it just so happens,  there are SOME weeds that I love... that's right, Jeri loves weeds. I will tell you about my very favorite weeds in another post. Perhaps I can change your opinion on "the dreaded weed".

This small stone wall was created using broken concrete. I was thrilled the day I drove by a little church in our town to see they were demolishing the sidewalk. James and I were happy to carry off the chunks for them, and they were all too happy to allow it. So, don't ever haul off your old broken cement patio... build a wall instead!
 or a bee bole.
 I hope you are enjoying an early Spring too.
 We send you a handful of periwinkle and a peacock feather!


  1. Dear Jeri ~ Love your stone walls. I think dry stacked walls are great!

    Your gardens are filling up with newly sprouting goodies. Pretty soon you'll have loads of blooms.

    Your peacocks are fantastic! So is your red feathered hen.

    It is always a joy to visit you.

    Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

  2. Is there anything more timeless than those stone walls, they truly are a mainstay in English or Irish landscapes.
    We share a love of those beauties you and I.
    You have labored well my friend, I know the hard work it takes to manually lug those rocks and form those boundaries, worthy of a rooster or a kitty's approval :)

    Love your gardens Jeri, and peacocks are just the most beautiful of creatures, despite not impressing a certain hen !

    Just so lovely !

  3. Aw heck Jeri,

    Isn't there ANYTHING you can't do?

    I think you are definitely an artist with the stones. It takes more than a strong back, it takes vision, and heart too.

    Love this. Love the rooster crowing atop the wall, love the bee bole, the bee house, everything.

    Joys to you,

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

  4. Jeri,
    Thanks for the smile at the whimsy of your garden and friends.

  5. Spring is so early and so beautiful up here too!
    I was just telling my grand daughter today (she will be 3 tomorrow) about peacocks. I will have to show yours to her, the next time she comes over!
    Your walls are awesome!
    Have a great week!

  6. My gardening is showing signs of returning life too. The peonies are sending out their reddish spring shoots. I heard the first spring peeper Friday evening and the forsythia is beginning to bloom. Of course they are predicting snow...I say bring it on. We could use the moisture!

  7. Jeri Landers, how are ya......

    I LOVE STONE. I do NOT have a drop of Celtic blood in me, but when I see stone walls or a stone HOUSE for that matter, something in me just jumps for joy and a sort of nostalgia. When I lived in Mass., I would see these stone walls EVERYWHERE. Especially in New Hampshire, these walls are an art, passed down from generation to generation. The animals look fabulous, especially that PEACOCK, showing off his chops! But the gals have seen that show before, and all remains as is. Yesterday, I saw two bunnies in the yard do the LOVE DANCE....hopping over each other; the signs of spring are here too, and it is raining at this moment. LOVE THE SOUND of the rain in the dark shadows of the morning.

    GIVE YOUR CREATURES A HELLO from Rabbit Hill!!! Anita

  8. Everything is looking perfectly lovely, Jeri!! Love your bee bole. Our new bees are coming in May. Last year's survivors are doing splendidly with the early Spring. Maybe we will even have honey for humans this year!! Happy Spring!!

  9. I love everything Jeri! The stone, the critters the gardens! Just beautiful and such a wonderful place to be inspired.
    Is it hard to take care of peacocks?

  10. How absolutely wonderful everything looks Jeri! I love stone fences also and dream of the day I may be able to build one of my own a stone at a time.
    How lovely to have Peacocks!!! Their feathers are amazing, what a treat to see that everyday! I have a feeling you are going to have a great week! Take care...
    Tina xob

  11. Stone walls make an area look old and lovely. There are not many, if any, stone walls that I know of in nw Ohio, so I'll enjoy yours.

  12. Oh my the stone walls are wonderful,looks a bit like England.
    Obviously the animals enjoy them too.
    Thank you for the visit.
    Hugs, Amy Jo

  13. We have dry stacked stone walls everywhere in our yard. We've lived in the house for seven years and we still are not finished fixing them, as they were allowed to fall apart by the previous owners. It is indeed like putting together puzzles. Your photos are delightful. Thank you for sharing all of them.

  14. I love the rock walls!! And I think your critters are very impressed with your handy work!! I'm about to go hunting down some bricks for my garden pathways that I have been carving out of the yard for the last month!! I've also been battling the poison ivy that has taken over our old house!! Hoping to sit down and draw very soon! Its just so hard when the sunshine keeps teasing me outdoors!!!

  15. Michelle, Peacocks are fairly carefree, if they are free range as ours are. They have a few requirements, tall trees in which to roost, a barn or some sort of protection from bad weather, and lots and lots of room to roam. They do fly and it takes them a while to figure out where home is. Ours used to end up in the neighbors trees by accident. I get hysterical when I find my birds have flown over the fence and are "playing" near the road. I hope I never come home to peacock feathers spread all across the pavement!

  16. Jeri I love your stack stone walls and the bee bole. They give such wonder character to your yard and garden. You have so many beauties coming up. I was out looking at all of my irises coming up too and can hardly wait to see them in bloom. The Peacock is so pretty strutting its stuff. Looks like all the farm family is happy to see spring come too.

  17. ah, your spring is looking quite lovely
    and you will have bees
    to dance in your flowers
    and visit your stream
    it all looks so lovely

  18. Oh Jeri dear, your vision is sublime.Our property in Connecticut
    was surrounded by almost-ancient
    stone walls, backed by an 8'high
    wall of Rhododendron. In the Spring my heart would skip as I
    entered the drive to see it all..
    It all does not complete in a
    lifetime, but in the lifetimes of
    many who steward the land and
    create by hand and never heard of
    Caterpillar. The beauty you are
    creating today hopefully will bring
    joy in generations to come.
    Bless you ~

  19. Jeri! I love your dry stack stone wall. You did on heck of a job.. It looks just beautiful.. I love to see your projects... I don't know where you find the time for all of this... It is like heaven on earth... So much inspiration...
    Enjoy your week. Working on another ducky, but ran out of honey merino.. It is on the way, so when finished I will let you know so you may come and meet her.

  20. Hi Jeri,

    What a gorgeous post, loved all the magic you shared from Hopalong Hollow.
    Your garden will be gorgeous with all the pretty flowers soon.
    The stone walls are wonderful and yes, there is a real knack of building them. Love all your sweet animals and birds, the peacocks, kitties, and your bees!... how thrilling. I had two Uncles that had hives and it is such an exciting wonderful thing to do.
    Yes, I love bee-skeps.

    Happy week

  21. Your stone wall is lovely. You've done a great job on it. Everything will be in bloom there before you know it.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  22. WOW, i'm so impressed with your walls, they ate BEAUTIFUL. Would love to make one myself one day! Happy start of spring!

  23. Oh, Jeri,
    Tim and I Love and obsess over old stone walls! I love them the height you have yours...we spy them all over our end of Nashville and Franklin. The history shows by the lichen and moss and ivy...
    Your calico looks just like our dear Barn Kitty (yes, we're not real creative with names, as the other was called Gray Cat...yes, she was gray:) that we left back at the old house with the new owners who needed them as mousers. They were always outside cats and would have been completely lost out here. I sure miss Barn Kitty, for we had her since before we were married.
    All your gardens will be gorgeous, once again, dear, as spring makes all things new and fresh.
    See you soon,

  24. Oh what fun.. Ok, Dimity's name is in the tea cup! I am so happy you like her.
    Enjoy your week, and yes, we need to get away from the art table, especially this time of year.. Very hard for me to stay INSIDE.. I love working in my rose garden.
    I would rather come help build another dry stack wall with you.

  25. JERI LANDERS!!!!!

    Oh dearest, thank you for strolling over to Rabbit Hill where the squirrels are fat, the finches are a plenty and the rabbits are IN LOVE, doing their little LOVE DANCE! We were laughing the other day watching them hop STRAIGHT up into the air. Ahhhh....spring is here! ANY NEW BABIES being born at Hopalong Hollow?

    I am loving my Ducky from Penny. Isn't she just a cutie? And how are BOTH of your Jemima's?


  26. Oh my goodness!!!! Your world is SUCH an inspiration Jeri, so magical! The walls are gorgeous, and those peacocks...I am speechless :)
    The best of luck with those bees, you are a brave woman! To have fresh honey, though...that is sublime. Jeri, I love everything here..so very beautiful.
    And I love Anita's description of those bunnies in love! ;)
    - Irina

  27. Hi Jeri
    Did you receive my email? I know you have been having trouble sending, so if you need, drop me a note on my blog..
    She is ready.

  28. How lovely everything is, and I love the stone wall--We have one that borders our property that has fallen, and I keep picking up the rocks, they are all unique and beautiful and I hate for them to be forgotten.

  29. Ohhh Ooooooo sigh!!! Just LOVELY!!
    The walls are just WONDERFUL!! What lovely and loving hard work is progressing at the Hollow!! And the beauty and colors and animals that you are surrounded by are heavenly!!
    I am so excited for the arrival of your "Bee COURT"!!... the Bee boles are AWESOME!!!! ;-D
    We brought our hives here a few weeks ago and they are looking strong! They are going to LOVE the orchards!!
    Many Blessings and Hugs, Linnie

  30. THANK YOU Jeri.

    Yes, enough is enough, and I tried my best, but sometimes our best is surpassed by more demands that quite frankly, take a bold mama to reject and say, ENOUGH!

    I am off to draw!

    Thank you for your encouragement. Anita

  31. A truly spectacular job, Jeri! Well done!
    We are building our stone wall across the front of our 18thc. house in NH. Our granite field stones of course are not cut or squared as your rocks are, so New England stone walls are more freeform. Ours is quite long, running the width of the front yard near the road, so it's taking awhile. We have thousands of huge, moss covered, wonderful rocks in our stream, property, etc., but our problem is they are too big for us to move them!

    Everything you've done is lovely~
    Happy Easter my friend!


  32. Thank you for coming by, dear Jeri!
    That Miller work is something else, isn't it? But can I tell you...I am in AWE of YOUR work!!
    Your art is extraordinary, Jeri...
    - Irina

  33. thank you for loving weeds! I just completed my Master Naturalist program and learned so much about our native plants, weeds being some of our most important plants to support our pollinators. I am working on a new planting for spring, an entire area of Joe Pye Weed, goldenrod, and so much more. this past summer I enjoyed raising Monarchs, what a miracle to experience!

    1. Robin, Joe Pye is simply beautiful! I use a lot of black eyed susans, oxeye daisy, queen anne's lace and I even love Creeping Charlie as a ground cover. These all grow wild around here, but when you put them in the garden with the perennials, wow! Smashing!


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