Tuesday, March 13, 2012


(overlook near the San Rafael Swell, Utah)

Well, not really. at all. Far from it. But the stones are in. For now. As a friend points out, rock work, even, is nothing that cannot be taken back. And as fickle as I am, some probably will. But I want to move on to new projects. The bow-tying of a current project enables dreams to be unwrapped into new fun projects.

It's about 21 by 7 feet, skinny going North and South.

I didn't steal the BLM sign- It's a habit to pick up non-natural debris like candy wrappers, water bottles, and even fragments of shattered fibreglass trail-signs from otherwise pristine places.

And perhaps in the worst place aesthetically, but the only place it could be practically. There is no other site sunny enough on my parent's property as here, set off by the garish white of vinyl, and parked next to a dirt driveway. And so, there is no more respectable place to set a prized rockery than in front of where trash cans often majestically stand, and behind a scenic mailbox. Alas- I'd like to think that the more challenges make for the more interesting solutions. I'd like to think.

Anyhow, important things to know are this- the sandstone, like an underpainting is "keyed" to be of similar make and colour- trying to make the rocks not stand out from one another. To keep them low profile, like one burnt-sienna stroke next to another. Nothing too exciting-feeling yet; I want the plants to be the exciting bits. The stone supplies the form (shape in 3-D terms), and plants should supply texture, colour, and yipee. (another technical term).
The goal is to leave the composition unfinished, welcoming the plants as the centrepoints and not distracting from them.

Art point number two: the vinyl fence is not my cup of tea; but it is there. It is a strongly contrasting white shape, almost a line, horizontal- and so I will break up that line with other lines- desert shrubs- growing vertically and effectively bisecting its strength by bisecting its length.

What follows is my natural bibliography- moments in nature this winter from the desert wilderness that are quoted in the rock garden:

(West of Zion National Park, Utah)

(Near the Gunnison River Bluffs, south of Grand Junction, CO)

(Dominguez Canyon: Yucca harrimaniae)

(Zion National Park: Shepherdia rotundifolia, an evergreen desert olive. Glorious....)