The 4th of July has always been about red, white and blue and all things America. In fact another all-American trend is the idea of rock garden creations. With the drought happening in the West, rock gardens are a new craze. But it has roots in American History. According to an NPR article – The rock garden craze reached frenzy level in the 1930s. As people rocked their gardens, dispatches came in from all over. Here is a sampling from 1931:
- Illinois. “If the rock garden craze continues very long,” a Chicago-area reporter noted on April 17 in the Daily Herald, “rocks will become scarce even in this rocky section of DuPage County.”
- Kentucky. The Middlesboro Daily News of May 27 observed that Iowa rock gardeners were paying $1 a bushel for everyday granite, limestone and sandstone rocks. “Some New Englanders might sell their whole farms at a big profit,” the reporter wrote.
- Minnesota. Rock sellers from the Gopher State peddled truckloads of rocks throughout the Midwest, according to the News Herald of Franklin Pa., on May 28.
- New York. An editor at the Rural New Yorker in the summer of 1931 opined that he was heartened by the rock-garden craze because it “foretells the change we have longed for these many years. The late Nineties saw our national thought turning toward the verities and away from the humanities, to a machine age in place of an age of art and literature.” To him the low-maintenance aspects of rock gardens allows more “time for the finer things in life.”
Combining the art of a rock garden for the love of red, white and blue for a patriotic summer expression – we created this rock garden flag. And here is how you can make it.
Creating Your Rock Garden Flag Art
Start with a piece of wood as the base. Cut the wood to a shape that meets your expectations for a flag. Then tape off and paint the stripes and blue square. Our flag inspired creation was not exactly like the U.S. flag – nor does yours have to be – it can be creative.
Then, using river stones or large stones, paint the rocks red, white and blue. We used outdoor house paint samples. This helps keep the paint on the rocks longer than traditional paint.
Once the paint is dry on the rock and wood, start figuring out where the rock fit – you may not use all the rocks – or may have to paint more – it is like a giant puzzle. Then adhere the rocks to the board using clear caulk.
Then place the finished and dry piece in your rock garden or bed of rocks. Feeling inspired? Check out the The North American Rock Garden Society or even visit the best Rock Garden in the us at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.