Stone Circle and Terraced Rock Garden

How did our Stone Circle get started? Why did we build it? Why in Michigan? Charlie is from Scotland and I immensely enjoyed the Stone Circles in Scotland when we lived there. I have visited Columcille, the Stone Circle Park in PA. It made me remember Scotland to feel the ancient energy of all those standing stones. I have been fascinated with all sorts of rocks my whole life. Always finding pretty ones. Turns out that I adore quartz. Our ranch in CO was covered with all kinds of quartz. So of course we brought 2 “rocks” with us from our ranch when we moved back to MI. Two wee rocks that are 4000 pds each.

Melisa’s Rock at Alba Ranch

Hubby sends me to store one day and I come flying back a little later saying open the gates, truck is coming with a few rocks….and in comes 15 ton of mid size rocks. 500-3000 pds. (Other women collect shoes…I keep a few rocks.) The start of my “STONE CIRCLE”. Those rocks sat in a pile for 5 years….silent. Last year in 2021, they started to speak.

Alba Ranch Stone Circle
The Stone Circle at Alba Ranch

We set our circle last year in a few hours one afternoon. Neither of us planned on setting a circle that day. Our intention was to set a few rocks in a part semi circle as a backdrop to base of the Lavender field. A couple of stones in and I was jumping up and down to get my husband and the excavator’s attention. I told them we were setting a circle because the rocks were speaking.

Sitting Rock in Moon Garden

We are in the process of gathering more rocks for a second circle in the woods. That second circle will be more intimate and for around the stone fire pit in the woods.

So the current project…is a Huge project. We are building a Lavender Herb and Flower Rock Garden set in Terraces above the Stone Circle. It is hardscaped with a lot of stone.

This is our retirement business that will not be open to the public for 2-3 years…definitely not this year of 2022. We just picked up about 400 lavenders to go in with another 300 coming this week. It takes Lavender 3 years to get to full mature production size. Who knew?

Stone Circle and Rock Terraces

I do not want rows of lavender all in rigid lines so I am adding in culinary herbs, medicinal herbs, just for fun flowers, fruit bushes and plenty of rocks. We are planning on rocks and plants in spirals, curves and some straight lines.

Crossover Trail Cut Through Woods
Crossover Trail in the middle of Alba Ranch

My vision is a haven of beautiful plants, pollinators, herbs, flowers in a jumble of color for a glorious cottage garden with thyme and stone paths curving to secret nooks and resting places. This is my vision spread out through the woods and grounds everywhere on the property. A 20 acre haven of woods with a pond and stream that you will want to come and be “lost in.”

Moon Garden and Sitting Rock next to the Dry Creek

We had to build a dry creek bed to slow some water run off in one area and I am constantly distracted with the beauties I find in the 3 inch size rocks in the dry creek bed. We are also working with larger field stone to hold the terraced levels in place but I am amazed at the variety I see. So many types of stone.

Stone Circle at Alba Ranch

I would love to show it to you. Maybe we could arrange a private field trip as we are building it? Sign up for the email list to get more updates and news of when we open. Email for details at

Terrace Three for distillation

Many changes and much progress has happened at Alba Ranch in 2023. We have set a second Fireside Forest Stone Circle in the late summer of 2022. It is a slightly larger stone circle than the first one and located in our forest. It feels more intimate and secluded and is such a magical circle.

Forest Stone Circle Fall 2022

Lavender planting started in April in 2023 and the Third Terraces was fully planted in June of 2023. It is the main distillation terrace with 44 rows for our start. Ms. Katherine, Royal Velvet, Melissa, and Hidcote Pink are the four Lavender cultivars. Helichrysum is also planted on terrace three for a stunning yellow in all those lavenders. Now we just wait for the “babies” to grow.

Lavender Stone Circle 2023

The Lavender Stone Circle has really started to fill in with Thyme ground cover rather than just dirt. The stones look lovely in between all of the green plants. This summer, the Thyme exploded into flowers everywhere and the pollinators were very busy bees indeed.

Thyme in flower