Backstage @ Bloedel: Rock Garden Raking

The Situation:

As you first approach the Rock Garden you probably don’t notice that something doesn’t feel right, until…

…You get close enough to see that the crushed white granite is disturbed. The harder you look, the more jarring the
disturbances become.

What disturbs the granite?

The answer is animals — usually deer or kids. Deer have free run of the Reserve. This time one wandered through on a Saturday night.
So the question we’re about to answer is:  How do you rake the granite chips so that what you see in the above photo is restored to the view in the below photo?

The Solution
Restoring the chips to their original pattern requires that the gardener first restore the smooth surface between the
line patterns with a very long-handled squeegee.
In doing this, he can only stand on one of three surfaces. They are the garden perimeter, an interior rock, or on a
patterned area that will be restored later.

Next, he restores the pattern around the first set of rocks.

Then he does the perimeter lines.

Then he does the pattern around the second set of rocks.

Now he can do the pattern around the third set of rocks and step off the chips on to the perimeter.

At this point he can complete the pattern for the third set of rocks standing on the perimeter.
Finally, he sweeps the perimeter clean of any chips that have spilled.
The Result:


The Team:
Bob Braid
Time Required:
~3 hours each time
Frequency:
From 1 to 5 times each week depending on visitors and weather

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