Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Hard and Heavy Holiday Gifts

27 degrees here on the mountain. I had to walk to the window to see if the stars were shinning and they are. I flicked on the light switch and the outside light startled the doe deer and twins just over the bank. I hadn't half expected to see them as they have been missing for several days. They appear to be headed for the only apple tree that holds fruit this late--some kind of a small yellow apple that doesn't appeal to me but does appeal to deer. There are very few apples remaining but they will kick the snow and leaves around until they find every last one on the ground.

I'm pleased that my thoughts about using stone in gardens encouraged others to ask questions and show interest. I think I have answered about everyones questions. I cannot say that it's inexpensive to work with stone or easy on the back or wallet (your preference) as it isn't. The thing about stone is when it's done, it's done and it can be enjoyed until you change your mind. Personally, I like Dan Snow's philosophy and abide by it--"Only lift a stone once."

When I wrote about holiday gifts I mentioned stone but forgot to give examples of a different use that interests some gardeners. Chris Cleary lives in Jericho, Vermont. His Dad owns a great stone yard in Richmond on Governor Peck Road and Chris has worked there in the past. His real strength however, is working with his hands as a sculptor. The example above is a recreation of a Zuni piece from out west. He did this on bluestone. He drew a stencil and then sandblasted the design. Somehow I hit the wrong button when I was resizing the picture and I inverted the dimension so you don't see the depth of the cuts. Regardless of my error, it's a neat looking piece of work. Chris varies the design size as you prefer based on your intended use. Stone types and colors are also available.

I have always like kokopeli and at one time researched myself silly on this interesting representation. Sometime I may craft a large one to center in a labyrinth garden. Gardens by themselves can offer fine music but there's nothing like a flute to encourage thoughts of new gardens and new designs.

The lizard in this last design may not fit well in a Vermont garden but it is also well done and offers conversation. These happen to be three pieces which I have collected but the concept
and the sculptor are what I wish to convey here. Vermont has some fine craftsmen and their work displays well in garden settings.

Still stumped for a gift for you favorite gardener? Running short on time? Try a pair of Felco pruners and a leather holster with belt clip. Trouble is they'll last forever so start thinking about next year's gift right away.

From the mountain above Peacham Pond where Karl the wonder dog just brought me his stuffingless sheepskin animal toy in hopes that I'd toss it back out the office door a few times before his bedtime...and mine.

With kind gardening thoughts for safe travel,

George Africa

1 comment:

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Lovely pieces... I really like that stylized lizard.