Rainbow pizzazz and perfectly stoned.

It must be a hereditary thing… my obsession with rocks. 

Years ago my father built a Rock Garden for my mother out of rocks she came across – and fell in love with – while on trips to Pennsylvania.  Calling them ‘rocks’ seems underrated, since they are more like mini-boulders.  He bordered the garden with long slender stones, stacked and cemented into place.  Every summer my mother would spend hours in that garden.  She weeded and tilled… planted and sowed… Tulips, Hyacinths, Daisies, Lilly of the Valleys, Lilacs, Purple Iris, and… I am sure I am forgetting something… because that garden was filled with a palette of colors and life.  Bumble bees bumbled, butterflies flitted, dragonflies zipped here and there… at night the lightening bugs came out of hiding and twinkled their little morse code signals all over the rocky terrain.

It was our little corner oasis in this world.  

Faided Rock Garden Memory

1970 ish…

My sisters and I would leap from boulder to boulder as kids.  Our small size only seemed to enhance and magnify their size.  Many a photo op happened in the midst of that garden.  

Even when the flowers had lost their blooms, and all that remained were greens, the rock garden looked beautiful.  Okay… so it wasn’t a Japanese Garden, or a Feng Shui masterpiece, but it was a gratifying, wholesome, charming visual feast.

Today I try to make sure I have flower memorabilia infused throughout my yard, especially the rock garden.  So many remind me of my Mom… I have every flower I can remember her planting. Loads of Tulips and Hyacinths, which were beautiful this year.  Two years ago I planted Lilly of the Valleys, and this year they perfumed my yard.  I planted Daisies… which seem to be happy with their location.  I’ve yet to get a Lilac bush – not sure where I would plant that… and – yup – that was me trying to decide if I should sneak down to my neighbors yard in the middle of the night and clip a few off their bush to grace my kitchen table… {I didn’t… and the flowers have since bloomed and faded away…}

I planted Purple Cone Flowers and Black Eyed Susan’s to honor my Grandma, who loved gardening as well. Though I, for the life of me, cannot keep Cacti or Violets alive. Somehow she made them thrive, in her makeshift, living-room greenhouse no less?! {I figure I get a yard pass on that one… my way of excusing my cacti/violet, murderous-thumb.} 

I am thinking of planting Silver Dollars… I saw them one day and flashed straight back to my Grandma’s driveway. {I find it so amazing that this anomaly happens.} She has been gone since August of 2003 and somehow there I was, quite unexpectedly walking the path down the floral lined driveway to her yard. {Of course, I reside in the here-and-now… No matter, I still feel her shinning smile as I look every season to the Black Eyed Susan corner of my yard.}

I have flowers I don’t even know the name of, but they remind me of people dear to me… the ‘Dr. Seuss Flowers’ as I have named them, remind me of my sister the teacher, as does the rock she always stood on… her favorite. 


My ‘Dr. Seuss’ flowers

I am clearly sentimental, truly putty in the hands – the mud covered, earth entrench, gardening hands of my lineage… so simply rooted to my past.

Part of the attraction of gardening is – it is literally grounding. How can you not ground with your hand into Mother Earth’s body and soul?!

Alex and Charlee have quite naturally added to my sentimentalities.  All around my house… my kitchen windowsill, my potted plants, my bedroom dresser… straight out to the yard, the front porch, the planters, the decorative yard chair… all have been graced with at least one rock, more often several.  Each has a stored memory.  The pint-sized hands of my child {not so tiny any more} at some point handed me a very specially picked out perfect rock.  Whether color, shape, feel, size… whatever the attraction, there was something intentional about their choice.  I kept every one.  My humble corner of this world is decorated with Mother Earth’s ornaments of sorts, each possessing a special memory.   The way I see it, it is better to have my rocks around me now, than to wait for them as some sort of cairn marking my grave, or the ornamental pebbles graced atop my headstone. I’m enjoying them now!

Steady, never wilting, always there… perfectly stoned.




Spring 2013




6 comments on “Rainbow pizzazz and perfectly stoned.

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  2. Susan Rothenbucher

    I have enjoyed the quiet of this Sunday morning reading the postings on your website. It always makes me smile when I find unexpected connections with people. Pennsylvania Rocks! Who would have thought it? My brother use to go to school at Bucknell in western Pennsylvania and the many long trips yielded many, many pounds of rocks. It was my Dad that would find the best rock spots and bring home ones as large as he could lift. They too all went into the garden though they have long since been buried by a burgeoning jungle of thriving flora. The winter die-back will reveal stones that haven’t been covered altogether but have sunk down in the rich, dark earth – like icebergs hiding most of their size beneath the surface. Occasionally Dad re-digs a garden and unearths a few “beauties” to take center stage again.
    I know the delight of coming across those “treasures” in the garden because we have continued the tradition in our modest yard. Each rock tells a story. Thanks for sharing yours.

    1. Nancy

      🙂 Thank You! I feel the same… we are all SO connected, but it is fun to become outwardly aware of the ‘evidence.’

  3. Susan Rothenbucher

    Ok – I finally found this page again so I can confirm your response to my response. – I had lost the link – its’s on my favorite bar now (ooooo…..you must be special!!!!!) . I see all my responses are public so I’ll have to watch my words!

    Keep on typing!!!!!1

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