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Duns, Scottish Borders

In 2009 Stone Man undertook two landscaping projects at Turtleton near Duns.

Catherine Burns wanted a rockery that would provide solid paths to and from her summer house while housing a collection of thyme and moss. The rocks, which were collected from previous landscaping works in the garden, were predominantly sandstone.

An earlier attempt at the thyme garden had left the area swamped in water which had lead to frost -bitten rocks and dead thyme plants. The stones had been laid on an impermeable bed of cement-based mortar and so were swelling with water, freezing when temperatures dropped, and eventually splitting.

The paths needed to be of solid construction while the areas in between needed to be free-draining to suit the thyme that would be planted in the gravel between the rocks. This was achieved by bedding the paths on a lime mortar constructed from the flattest rocks, while in the areas to be planted, rougher stones were laid on a free-draining mix of gravel and sand.

"The thyme and rock mosaic is not only a thing of great beauty, but is wholly functional, serving as a patio and living rock garden".
Catherine Burns