The very best thing about my temporary job is that it gives me a chance to see people's personal outdoor spaces - places that I would otherwise never know existed - places that they have created for themselves.
Cause folks, these aren't places "put together" for the neighbors' sake. They aren't places created by landscape designers. These are places that can't even be seen by passers-by. These are unique little worlds, and I feel privileged to have been allowed to share them here.
After jostling down a half mile of dirt track driveway winding through thick pine woods, my van rolled around a curve and out into an open meadow of surprises. There before me was a series of rock gardens - and I do mean gardens of rocks! Crystals and geodes, mica and minerals, sandstone and quartz - all laid out in the sun to sparkle or to oxidize. Standing watch over the gardens were animal sculptures made from recycled metal, including this owl. His body is a former propane tank and the eyes are the wire brush wheels off of a bench grinder.
"Blooms" of crystal, iron and manganese...
A closeup of the iron (rusty orange) and manganese (deep purplish-black) deposits on crystals.
The largest wind chime I've ever seen/heard, made from aluminum baseball bats... And yes, it sounded great - not at all like the sharp tinny sound of an aluminum bat hitting a ball.
And finally an alligator, a rooster and a giant giraffe - all made from old farm implements and scrap metal.
Really a cool place!! The owner graciously gave me a tour and permission to photograph his private world. He also gave me a night blooming cereus (?), a plant with which I was unfamiliar. Check out the very short video below! I had to work an extra 45 minutes to make up the time I spent there - but it was way worth it.
I was taught that one should not say "thank you" for a plant - that the the giving of a plant is to be reciprocal instead. I returned there today and dropped off several new sprouted lilacs, and though the owner wasn't home, I know he'll find places to plant them.