Writings about

the many life lessons

unearthed when we dig

in the dirt . . . and pursue

a range of other interests

in the constantly evolving

garden of life.


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Stone on the move, in search of a sweet spot


This time, I really do believe I've found what I've been looking for. I came up with this combination of stones after a long and winding road through other designs that just didn't have what I wanted.

Many is the time I've said my plants should be on wheels because I move them around so much. Now, I have to say the same about stones.

By my front door, where water pools every time it rains – and lately it has rained a lot here in Georgia – I think about what design would be most practical, and ornamental at the same time. Among my efforts, there was the chunk of quartz from the North Georgia mountains, in Cherokee country.















The top of this quartz appears just under the rain chain in the image below of one of my earlier designs near the front door.


On the move again, the quartz wound up on the other side of the walkway, next to the turtle of stones that I brought from my Connecticut garden. (The turtle moved from the back garden to the front a while ago.) Like Zelig in the movie, that quartz usually has been in a scene by the door, fitting in with whatever stones are present.


I do get a lot of exercise, moving stones here and there – searching for a better place, a better look. Once in a while, I get what I want on the first try. Like this stone in the middle of radiating bricks. I reassembled these pieces after displaying them in Connecticut.


While it took longer to settle on the stones by the front door, I figured I had it right when I saw those river pebbles during their first rain in their new arrangement, glistening darkly as they rested atop the lighter-colored pea gravel, a happy little clump of moss growing near the rain chain.



Dry, wet, it was all good; design done. I'll never say never, but undoing that design is as close to never as I've ever been.

31 comments:

  1. Sometimes it just looks right, and you know it. Your stone creations may take some maneuvering around, but all of a sudden you know you've got the right design. I do love the dark wet starburst of stones -- it's sculpture!

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    1. That's high praise, Laurrie, and I appreciate it greatly. Cheers!

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  2. I love this, Lee. How big is it? You are giving me so many neat ideas about how to enhance a garden with stones. Thank you.

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    1. Glad you love it, Mim. Its diameter is about 45 inches. Without stone, my garden would not be nearly as appealing to me.

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  3. I think that some of your Indian Heritage is showing up with your love of stones and unique designs in the garden. Your mother probably just needed to give you a box of sticks and stones and you could entertain yourself all day,

    Enjoy this beautiful Easter Day!

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    1. What a day! Thank you, Anna. I hope you're enjoying it too. I wish I could tell you whether you're right about sticks and stones, but I can't remember back that far.

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  4. Hey Lee, What lovely photos of your garden and stone formations/art! It wouldn't be a Lee May garden without architectural stone elements. I've had some traveling stones in my garden over the years, and they really do give one a workout. Also, I read about your eyes in your previous post. I'm glad you don't have to have surgery again, and that your weaker eye will adjust and begin to help. All the best and happy gardening! :-)

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    1. Hey, Beth, I'm delighted that my stone resonates with you. Traveling stones do become an important part of the history of gardens and gardeners. Thanks much for your good wishes. Cheers!

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  5. I am glad you didn't say "never". Never usually comes around. This design is the best. So easy on the eyes and it won't float away during a heavy rain. I think you've done it. I smiled when I read your plants have wheels. ha... My DB has said similar things to me about our plants. Love seeing your stone work. It always gives me ideas. I hope you had a blessed Easter. The weather here was perfect.

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    1. Many thanks, Lisa. If I can beat this design with the materials I have, I'll be surprised. The holiday was just great, on a perfect-10 day. Hope yours was too.

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  6. It's the new "Lee May Xtreme Stone-Moving" workout! Now available on DVD.
    Put me down for two!

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  7. Looking good, Lee!

    What are the grassy plants in your third photo, if you don't mind me asking?

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    1. Thanks, Aaron. Rain lily, aka zephyranthes. It's stood the test here.

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  8. I like the arrangement of your dark stones! I know what you mean about moving things. My poor hubby, who has to do most of the manual labor for me now, will ask, "Is this where you want it?" "I'm not sure" is my usual reply, but I am trying to improve, for his sake. I am happy that during our last bout of planting of a dozen plants, he only had to move one thing, and he was only slightly irritable.

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    1. Glad you like the stones, Deb. I laughed at your exchange with your husband; I have the same conversation with myself. You certainly have made progress on cutting down on your planting man's labor.

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  9. Stunning stones...with two amazingly distinct looks when wet vs dry...the design is to die for. Natural, yet sexy - with serious texture. Taking notes and stealing ideas for my digs...perhaps I inherited a bit of that design flare --- but, uhhhhhh...the plant biz...not so much!

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    1. Hey, Daughter Yana,

      Thank you much. After all the years you've seen me garden here, there and everywhere – and with your natural gift for style – I wouldn't be at all surprised if you created something unique. I look forward to it. And never say never on planting; you could start with just one.

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  10. These are beautiful arrangements, Lee! I have a tough spot on the side of the house where rain erodes the soil, and I think you've given me a start to inspiration on how to deal with it. Thank you!

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    1. Well, I appreciate knowing that you're inspired. It's a beautiful thing when you find a good look that also is functional. Good luck on *your* project.

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  11. I like your stone art, Lee.I remember from a past post of yours that you like to be creative with stones. I was introduced to stone art in Arizona where it was extremely popular because there was so much in the surrounding mountains, and there was not a lot that would grow in yards there anyway without a lot of water.

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    1. Lana, I love that: stone art growing without a lot of water. I'm glad you like mine, which thrives *with* a lot of water. Speaking of Arizona and stone, I need a basketball-size chunk of lava rock, which I'm told can be found out there in your former home. And Arizona's closer than Hawaii.

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  12. Hey, Lee,

    Your shiny black Connecticut river rocks are really pretty and the design it perfect. I know you've moved them around a lot, but now they are in the right spot.

    Couldn't help but laugh at the lava rock comment above. Years ago when I was drooling over lava rock I asked my Hawaii son about it. "It's easy", he said. "Just order a load and they will send them by ship to port of Mobile and you can
    pick them up". 'Nuf said, don't you think. Never happened, needless to say.

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    1. Heyyy, Barbara,

      'Preciate your like on the rocks. And the talk about lava rock in Hawaii is very funny. All that makes lava even more desirable.

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  13. Beautiful design, with your Connecticut rocks. I smiled as I read this post, because I like to pick up rocks when I travel. Been doing this for about two decades now, but we don't travel all that much, so there aren't so many. I have stones from Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Maine, and New Mexico, as well as from many places in Georgia - each reminds me of a special place or a person I was with when I picked it up. I can't say what kind of stone or shell each one is, but I remember where each came from. And I have lots of fun arranging and rearranging them in my planting beds. It feels very close to playing with blocks - the finished design lasts only until my next planting jag. Thanks so much for writing about your rocks.

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    1. Heyyy, Joan, thank you for letting me know how this piece resonates with you. For a long time, my favorite travel souvenirs have been stones. I love your analogy to playing with blocks.

      And speaking of Georgia, did you ever see or find any of those small stones called "fairy crosses" in North Georgia – made from a crystal called staurolite? I've found a few near the cabin we owned in Fannin County.

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    2. Fairy crosses would be a lovely addition to my collection, but no, I've not been lucky enough to find any, even though I used to camp a lot in North Georgia.

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  14. I like it, too! I also play around with my rocks. It feels like they have a home. I just don't always figure out where it is on the first try.

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    1. I'm glad you like what I did. As long as we *eventually* get it the way we want it, it's just fine, yes? My father often pointed out much we learn from our mistakes. And he loved saying, if something doesn't work, try, try again. Simple, profound.

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  15. what a great unusual rain chain...yes the garden is taking on your personality!!! and creativity...I like your wheel so much

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    1. 'Preciate that, Sharon. I'm glad you like both the chain and the wheel.

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