I find comfort in the company of rocks. Boulders, field stone, quarried stone or sandy pebbles—they all make me grin. The feelings run deep, relating mostly to my preference for using natural materials in my garden designs.
As with enduring lifelong friendships, certain rocks have accompanied me through more than one house move, becoming part of gardens in different locations. A good rock is hard to find and not lightly left behind.
One day last Spring, I wanted to rearrange a few plants and rocks in the garden. For some reason, I encountered exceptional resistance while attempting to move one of my larger ‘friends’ just a few inches from where it was. The wrestling match that ensued left me breathless, yet exhilarated.
At that moment, with a twinge in my back and twinkle in my eye, I realized that even though I design and build gardens every day, it had been quite a while since I was in the trenches, interacting with rocks at that more personal level. I missed the action, bloody fingers, blisters and all.
That brief encounter was an eye-opener. And, whether it was a personal challenge to summon long-dormant abilities, or a direct, some said foolhardy, attack on the aging process, I gave myself a summer project of building a bluestone patio on our property.
I set out each day full-tilt, buoyed by youthful enthusiasm and, no doubt, glorified memories of my own past conquests. With focus firmly fixed to the tough work of hauling, lifting and sorting slabs of stone, the patio quickly began to take shape.
However, as August gave way to September, fatigue and apathy had me in their grips and slowed progress considerably. Heart and soul lost ground to creaking bones and aching joints that led to nightly bouts of live rigor mortis.
I’m convinced that, had it not been for a hurricane, flattened wheelbarrow tire and my
chiropractor’s summer vacation, I surely would have finished in time for our Labor Day party.
When did rocks get so heavy, anyway?
Jon Feldman is the owner of G. biloba Garden Environments. Reach him at www.gbiloba.com or at 353-3448.