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Rock Garden

I continue to read the great book English Garden Eccentrics.

The main idea is that certain gardeners over the centuries have chosen an usual form of gardening. You might called these people ‘eccentrics.’

That is prcisely what the author Todd Longstaffe-Gowan does in his book English Garden Eccentrics: Three Hundred Years of Extraordinary Groves, Burrowings, Mountains and Menageries.

By eccentric he means that the gardener produces a feeling that no one would have thought of doing precisely in the same way to that same patch of land.

He sums up that vision of the gardener with these words: “Gardens function as a form of autobiography.”

We can all relate to that.

What Makes a Rock Garden

Take the rock garden as an example. Who says the rocks should be of a particular size or shape? Only the gardener.

Though most gardeners have to address the issue of stones, rocks, even granite, in their garden, each does it in a different way, depending on your garden.

The rock garden you design and build incorporates your vision.

The English called them ‘stone gardens’ with a prominance of rock and stone.

I remember that nineteenth century Rochester, New York seed company owner James Vick (1818-1882) included an illustration of a an unuusal rock garden in his magazine (below).

He too sought to express his kind of gardening.

Though at first glance you might see this rock garden as a danger to anyone walking under it. After all, It could collapse at any moment.

But it makes a statement about Vick and his attidude toward rock gardens in the late nineteenth century.

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