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Hello from Goffstown, NH

Started by ewoudenberg, August 08, 2010, 08:40:25 pm

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Hello Everyone,

I'm happy to have found your forum. I'm in the very beginning of a karesansui project for the entranceway to my house and came here to learn more about what kind of gravel people are using. Yesterday I fashioned a homemade wooden rake and then went to some landscaping supply places to try it out on various materials. I had some success with something called "hardpack" (it's an aggregate of crushed stone that includes stone dust). I've attached a picture below.

I lived in Japan during the 90's (Nara mostly) and really came to love the temple gardens I visited there. I look forward to learning more and hopefully contributing as well.

Best wishes,
Eric Woudenberg


Welcome Eric,  We look forward to exchanging information with you.  Turkey or chicken grit sold at farming supply stores may be ideal for you.  The color of the crushed granite varies with the area you live in.  It is inexpensive and may be perfect for you.

Good luck,



August 09, 2010, 09:44:31 am #2 Last Edit: August 09, 2010, 09:46:39 am by JBaymore

Hi.  Welcome to the forum.  Nice to see another New Hampshire-ite.

I've been eyeing some "granite dust" for a small section of my garden.  As you know... granite is a very native material here  ;).  Easy to find and cheap.  The "dust" word is a little misleading; it is from about 1/4" mesh down to fines.  I haven't tried it yet... just "contemplating".




My observations at the Portland Japanese Garden where I volunteer with the gardeners each week.  I think the the "dust" size will cause you trouble.  The sand and stone gardens use "turkey grit" size material.  This will degrade over time and be come smaller and eventually need additional material added.  The larger size will "stay put" better than the smaller.  Think wind and rain degrading your labor in design.  The garden needs to redo the raking weekly to biweekly.  My home garden has no sand and stone garden,  but I have redone the karesansui  at the Portland garden.  It is hard work.  Please post picture of your completed project.


Thanks Terry....... good point. 

I was actually concerened about it tending to block water getting down to the soil...... thru the membrane I plan to put under it.  And then tending to puddle... or to grow a green surface quality.

It is so easy to get here in NH.  And turkey or chicken grit for any decent sized area would add up fast.




Welcome Eric.  There have been a couple of good discussions on gravel sizes and color in the forum.  If you cant find them, let me know and i will see if i can.  8000 posts can make it hard to find things sometimes!


I live in CA and we have something called "California Gold" It is like pea gravel. Cannot remember what size it is but the children think it is divine as a "sand" box.
The area of our Karesansui is rather large so to avoid pooling of rainwater, we "engineered" the garden to slightly slope toward the center (but not visible to naked eye.) Under the black weed control cloth we designed a drainage system by installing a 1'x1'x1' box with a grate cover in that low spot. Maybe everyone does this. Works quite well. I had forgotten about the drainage box until yesterday when the puppy dug down and discovered it. I've really got to take the advice and install chicken wire.


Welcome Eric,

I, too, think the fines will cause trouble for drainage.  If you want to put in some labor in exchange for initial cost, you could make a simple screen box with some chicken wire (slightly smaller than 1/4").  Keep what does not fall through for your dry garden, use the granite fines for a soil amendment.

For drainage, the base should be well tilted to outlets, but since water flows through the gravel, it can be level on top, almost like water in a pond.  In our area, the drains are necessary.  I would not rely on landscape fabrics to percolate water into level soil unless you are sure of your soil characteristics, and it does not harm your home/garden to have water flowing down through it.

You may also want to consider some type of mortar/concrete parge instead of fabric as a base.


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