Friday, July 31, 2009

Next Life

In my next life I think I'd like to come back as a rock. For one thing they get to exist every-where. They are used to build foundations that house generations of families.

Upon close observation they can tell stories of ages past. People of all cultures use them as places to sit or meet and even scratch artwork upon.

Rocks see and hear all and if you stop and think about it no-one dislikes a rock. In fact some people, myself included, are fascinated by rocks and study them endlessly.

This pic is a rock specimen I spotted at the Botanical Gardens in Hamilton Ontario co-existing beautifully with the surrounding gardens.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Destiny... Or Not

I'm not sure if I believe in destiny or not. After all it's too easy to give credit or assign blame to some unseen force. In fact I don't know much about anything except that we are all in the same boat. We all need to eat, sleep, laugh and feel safe. We all need to know we are not in this alone.

I think we have a responsibility to treat others well. To help out when and where we can. To be kind as much as possible. And to go out of our way to make sure others are free of fear. If we do all of that then the rest should fall into place.

Today I have a pic of sculpted planter heads I did a couple of years ago. I custom carve these and they range from two to three feet tall and have an open chamber in the headdress to install topical grasses or even a small palm.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Somewhat Unscathed

The new realities of my life are coming to light a little more each day. New situations bring new hopes and yes sometimes doubts. It's a balancing act worthy of The Walenda's...assuming I got their name right.

Again this week I was forced to face some new challenges of which I came through somewhat unscathed. But it seems every new week brings me yet another test.

Here's another pic from the backyard. Eventually I'm going to post some shots of the bistro patio and also of the shed. I just need to do some final touches when I'm able.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Pretty Insignificant Stuff

Every day now I seem to be looking around my surround-ings with a new set of eyes. As the clock runs down on my time here I notice new things everyday...or I should say appreciate new things everyday.

A couple of days ago I watched as a Chipmunk darted back and forth playing hide and seek with the rain and taking shelter under the large Hosta leaves on either side of the garden bed. Pretty insignificant stuff on the grand scale of things but a priceless memory nonetheless.
This shot depicts the Morning Glory Flowers (Heavenly Blue) that seem to now magically appear anywhere in the yard.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Some Twelve Years

It's a funny thing the way our hearts and minds work. What we assume we will miss about a loved one and what we actually end up missing are usually two very different things.

For example, when my mother passed away some twelve years back I knew I would miss our conversations.
But what really hit home...what really hammered me with the reality that she was gone was the moment I realized I would never again taste her Irish Soda Bread. Sounds strange I'll grant you that but it was the tipping point for me.
Sometimes it takes a while - days, months and maybe longer - to hit that tipping point but if you're human that day will come. It's all part of the process.

Here's another shot from within the backyard. This version is pre-pruned so it's a little scrubby looking.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Second Thought

I think it's safe to assume that at times we all take the good parts and the good people in our lives for granted. We generally don't give those aspects a second thought for the most part. "They will always be there" the general consensus.

Whereas we give the more negative or less than ideal parts of our lives way too much airtime. I guess it's just another quirk of the human condition.
I'm very aware of the limited time we are given and I've tried to do the right thing by others...especially those I'm closest to. But I'll admit I've not always been successful.
Today is another pic of the garden. This grouping shows a clump Red Maple surrounded by Hosta and butted up against a Fat Albert Blue Spruce. And by the way about the only way you can "buy time" is by planting mature trees. It's well worth the extra expense.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Tree Light

It never fails to amaze me how many people don't take full advantage of their homes until it comes time to sell. I had a friend that renovated his bathroom to make it more saleable. And another that spent loads on landscaping for the same reason. Neither one considered doing it for the sake of their own enjoyment.

Well, what I find even more amazing is the fact that here I am doing the same thing. The house I've occupied for the past eight years is going on the market within weeks and I'm working to get it in pristine shape - inside and out - for someone else...the next owner.
Come to think of it that's all I've been doing for the past eight years. Not that it isn't in nice shape but you do get caught up in the day to day chores of running a house and loose ends have a tendency to accumulate.

All the real homeowners out there can relate I'm sure. It won't always look pretty but it is - or I should say was - home.

My pic today is another garden shot. As I mentioned in my last post I'm scrambling to collect as many photos as possible before I close the door on this part of my life. This is what you would see looking from one end of the deck or through the bedroom window.
Yes, I'm big on trees...lots of trees.

Friday, July 24, 2009


I never get tired of watching the rain. A massive downpour just hit my neighbor-hood so I went to get some garden shots as it began to lighten up.

Though I had to get back inside when the thunder and lightning started I was still able to get a handful of new pics.

The garden here is beautiful in the rain and it's one thing I'm really going to miss. I'll try and post as many garden shots as possible while I'm still here.

This pic shows my Buddha (praying for rain?) on the corner of the deck.
I also wanted to mention my StoneGarden email link is now closed and has been for some time but I added an email link on my profile page.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Right Thing

One of the best qualities I feel a person can have is character.

I just happened to be in the right place at the right time and was able to witness character first hand, albeit from a distance, earlier this week. And it couldn't have been more timely.

If I had to take a shot at a definition I would describe it as..."doing the right thing even when you think no-one is watching".

I find this image really calming .

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Once Forgotten

A friend of mine has a saying he uses when dealing with conflict within a relation-ship.

He would say... "downsize the problem and not your feelings for each other".

When faced with something overwhelming break the problem up and deal with it in pieces...together.

Try not to react to the problem as a whole by numbing or changing your relationship.

I realize it's all much easier said than done but if you don't at least try what does that say for what you had to begin with.

It wouldn't be the first time something amazing grew from a once forgotten place. As long as you keep the roots healthy it's never too late.

This pic shows a collection of plain stone bowls I sculpted some years ago...some as wide as 16 inches. They were each filled with an immature plant (Hens and Chicks or Hens and Chickens according to my friend Ceferina) then forgotten within the garden bed under a layer of mulch. They have since been re-discovered and are shown mature and in flower.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bleeding Heart

I truly believe the most powerful thing in this world is the resolve of the human heart. The decision to love and care can be unstoppable.

Multiply that by two people in the same relationship and you have a force to be reckoned with. There is literally nothing that can't be distance is too far and no obstacle is too great.

And yet it's also the most vulnerable. A broken heart can plunge one into darkness for years. And for some they will never fully re-emerge. And if they do they will be forever changed.

This pic is of the Bleeding Heart flower. A shade loving perennial that I have growing around the patio.

Monday, July 20, 2009


I think we all at one time or another have given some thought to things we would like to do or see one day. Well I compiled a list several years ago. It actually topped out at close to 100 items but here's an excerpt from that list...a random ten.

1. Live in Chang Mai.

2. Author a stage play.

3. Experience Stonehenge.

4. Witness the Aurora Borealis.

5. Learn to play the saxophone...for New Years Eve.

6. Take a working vacation in the Galapagos.

7. Volunteer at a prosthetics clinic in the Third World.

8. Film a documentary for the Festival circuit.

9. Learn Gaelic.

10. Christmas shopping weekend in New York City.

This pic shows one large garden boulder I made a few years back. I sculpted it using various products including steel mesh, mortar and various stains. This particular one is around four feet wide.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Time changes everything Time sculpts our thoughts, our bodies and ultimately our lives. And the lives of those close to us...if only by default.

Because of the complexity of human nature we really don't have much say in where we end up. We can only stay true, do our best and then hang on.

I've come to the conclusion, whether right or wrong, that it really is as fragile as a house of cards. There are no guarantees in life. It's never a done deal.

I read a great piece the other day. It went something like this.

"At the end of our life - as we lay in our death bed - we will not ask to see all of our accumulated material goods. We will only want to see those people we have shared our life with...the people that have been with us and cared for us. The people who have had a hand in shaping our memories and who we are. That is the only true gold. In the end absolutely nothing else matters".

When I need to gather my thoughts I sometimes visit an area called the Badlands. It's located near my home in Caledon Ontario. The pic I've included today is a dead tree that I discovered while exploring there. One could say it's time has passed but I would argue it's role has simply changed.