Stoned Love

Ah ha!  Caught you with that title, didn’t I!  Well, at our house, stoned love means my dearest partner has created yet another wonder – this 4th of July it is a stone creek bed meandering through the back garden, pulling rain water away from the house and taking it to the needy perennial plants, especially those under the huge, thirsty cottonwood tree.

Every fourth of July season, a major project takes place at our house.  Several years ago, in another life and locale, a lovely raised bed for miniature plants made its appearance.  Here is a little bit of what we created.

Setting the largest stones for the new rock bed

Setting the largest stones for the new rock bed

Stepping stones within the bed for access

Stepping stones within the bed for access

Watering down the first days planting

Watering down the first days planting

Happy Gardener

Happy Gardener

One year later and the Dickson's Gold Campanula blooms

One year later and the Dickson’s Gold Campanula blooms

The most current creation – in 2012 – involved 3 trailer loads of glacial erratics, river boulders, and 1.5 yards of small river rock, size 1 1/4-2″.  Here is the before image, followed by the creative conclusion of a lot of heavy lifting. As a trained archaeologist, husband has an uncanny knack for “seeing” the soil surface as it is, and as it can be.  What a skill.  Before he begins he sees the entire project, and as the son of a geologist/paleontologist he knows how much material it will take. He talks about how this rock will work perfectly here, buried just so, and I nod enthusiastically, eager only to see the finished placement.

Stone supply arrives

Stone supply arrives

Progress from above

Progress from above

Work continues

Work continues

Nice curve toward the cottonwood tree

Nice curve toward the cottonwood tree

Another view from above
Another view from above
Garden visitor - Swallowtail butterfly feeding on martagon lily

Garden visitor – Swallowtail butterfly feeding on martagon lily

Creekbed and garden path finished

Creek bed and garden path finished

I am overjoyed when in the midst of sculpting the soil for the traverse of water, the hauling of stone, the clouds of stone dust, and numerous glasses of iced lemon tea, locations are found and little beds are created for my beloved miniature plants.  Filled with a mix of potting soil, peat moss, manure/compost mix and perlite, these beds emerge simultaneously with the winding dry creek bed, providing the excitement of future plant placement.  One can not give a better gift to a plant “geek” than a new, virgin place to put plants.  Oh, what joy to contemplate what will go there, and how it will look in the months yet remaining of the ever so short North Dakota growing season.

As if to say “Thank You”, during the night yesterday we had a ‘million dollar’ rain, and the garden has never been more glorious.  The daylilies are bursting open, the lilies enticing aroma blend with the wafts of white alyssum, and the still, cool clear air has made for one of those incredible days of summer you remember all winter long.

H. American Chief

H. American Chief

Lilium 'Eric'

Lilium ‘Eric’

Cottage garden

Cottage garden

I have spent ten months researching for a book I am sculpting, and now the time has come to set the joyous task of research aside, and get growing.  Letting out my writing persona, I will create solid written form from the vast, inspiring data I have amassed, so I can share it all with you. It is a story so international in scope, endearing in personality, enlightening in relevance, rich in “take your breath away” artistic quality – a riveting story for all of us, especially every woman who endeavours to follow her own dream.

My writing helper 'Lily'

My writing helper ‘Lily’

I am longing to talk about this project with you, but a very wise publishing agent needs to contact me (or I them!) before I can. I think this calls for taking the laptop out to the garden, don’t you?  I imagine that is where you will find me, surrounded by the inspiring glories of stoned love.