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Don Pylant, April, 2021

Intoduce Yourself Hello from "kobold" B.C.

Started by kobold, March 04, 2007, 03:58:48 PM

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Hello everyone, old and new friends!

Returned from a long holiday and found Michael's e-mail here! What a gift to us all!

Professional in health care (retired) but absolute amateur in gardening. Still wondering, what came first, the rocks or Japanese Gardens?  For me the rocks; loving, admiring, collecting since childhood.
I like to grow my own plants, experimenting. After 100+ rhododendrons, azaleas, started with JM, lost a few, raised from seeds a lot (4th year), switched to conifers, lost a lot.
Try to maintain a garden in Hungary ( almost impossible and very expensive) where I spend6-8 weeks a year. Amazing limestone rocks!!!

Giving loving care to husband, 2 grown up sons, 3 darling cats and the difficult, shady, wet  garden on a slope.
Lived and graduated in Hungary for xx years; West Africa, Ghana 4 years, Canada, B.C. 22 years.



Welcome, Andrea ---  Nice to see you here!



Hi Andrea! -- glad you made it over here

See you on the forum :)



Welcome to mJG Kobold!!!!

Your sense of humor will be appreciated!

You picked a good time of year to be abroad.  Lotsa snow and ice this year.  Some severe pruning was needed due to Mother Nature telling me that I have to learn to prune better in the Fall.



Welcome : )

Please share some thoughts on your experiences rock viewing , collecting.


Richard, after reading your profile I can say that you are on the top of your hobby. Your "rambling" opened a new window for me, I will look through it  to see your amazing word.
We aren't in the same class in rock collecting, I'm sorry . You are in high school, I'm in kindergarden. 
As I looked at your prefered artists, I'm closer to you on that.



Andrea! Wow! I am looking forward to your conversation here.  Mata!

Don P


Don,  thanks, it feels good to be on this forum!



Here is a link that might interest you for he lives a town away from me. And to those who enjoy Rhodos and Azaleas and are of lower Ny he has a neat nursery run out of his private home in Westchester County Ny.

There is one Azalea he grows called Thyme leaf azalea I believe.  With the abundence of craggy stone walls left over from centuries of farming its wonderfull to see when someone takes this dwarf azalea to the wall. Removing some stones , filling the wall with soil and letting the trailers of branches grow down. 

The leaves are so small .  Pretty .

Along his strolling garden paths under the canopy of a forest grows many Rhodies and azaleas.  The paths are heavily chipped decaying into wet almost swampy soils in places. I came acros Jack in the Pulpits passing my knee in height . 

Our woods here have alot of indigenous flowering plants.

This one is one of my favorites for it is pollinated by the Dung beetle.  Jack in the pulpits for a day or a few dyas can riase thier temperatures to omit a rotten meat smell..this attracks the beetles.  The air around the plant ? This plant can riase its temp to a maximun of 80 degrees F for a day I believe. And doing this it can raise its temp 30 degrees F more thna its surrounding enviroment..-air.

Much like skunk cabbages and corcuses , snowdrop do at a smaller increment of degrees F perhaps a few degrees more thna the surrounding environment ?

He lives in a plce of Westchester ..towns of Pound Ridge , Bedford , North and South Salem that is conducive to Japanese Gardens.

to get an idea how I feel about this take a look online for the Mianus River in Bedofrd NY. Mianus River gorge follows the heart of what I feel is Japanese in nature.  Its ravines and steep slopes are often clad in ancient hemolock forests and old oaks . Moss is abundent . glacially deposited rocky ledges are everywhere creating bowls , hollows and long narrow valleys where one can ponder the materials for Rock gardens.  The rivers small seasonal tributaries cascade like waterfalls reminding one of Hokusia's blockprints such as KiriFuru Waterfall in minature.

The rocks have the patina of such sublime feel in fall when brillliant  leaves adorn the lichened  lime green pathes. Soetimes these concentric growth rings of lichens round in nature meld together creating a large circle below and a smaller circle above . Looks like a snowman but in my mind of taste feels like the Buddha nature of a statue in abstract.

Find a crimson red cardinal flower in bloom adjacent to a lone boulder sweating profusely as if alive planted along the bed of this rivers shoreline deep in a gorge. See the yellow , greens of lichens and mosses growing ..and perhaps some brilliant cherbet orange fungi growing out of the moss from a moist rotting branch covered beneath. 

What happens is that static sense of Zen dryscape gardens i raked gravels comes alive to the strolling meanderer into the primary bright colors of abstract modern surrealist painters.

Its like an atomic explosion of color in minimalism . A boulder near jet black, lichened , mossy , listening..a single red flower along a slender stalk. Adjacent to this boulder one finds the contorted trunk of a very old Mt Laurel. Its base branches long dead yet firm and its main trunk angles to and fro at odd angles. GRotesquely bueatifull baside such a noble stone.

sitting there wishing I had a camera to share such relaxing times I'll begin to break off the dead branches of the Laurel. One at a time exposing the tree's form . As the evergreen leaves appear I see windows into the forest and continue opening its dozens of dry dead limbs. All along in my mind I am admiring the form of the boulder and the shimmer of moving crystal clear waters darkened by the canopy of hemlocks above..

the sound of a waterfall cascading up yonder dow nthe river some becomes attuned to my ears..  I'll leave the laurel - boulder , and scarlet cardinal flower for later

Walking down river I find a dry seasonal brook thick with mosses. the sun lets through the canopy and as I ponder where the sound of that waterfall came from I tend to the weeds growing in the moss .  Cultivating a mossery by happenstance .. leaving the small solomons seal and false solomons seal.. the tiny growth of wild strawberrys growing from exposed pockets of soil between the moss. so many weeds become ornamental plants and I am slow choosing what to remove. Still wondering where the sound of water came from I follow this dry brook upwards holding onto stems of Mt Luarels peering upwards.. Its a hike..and I wonder if there is water falling a few undred yards upwards that seeped into the ground.. fooling me to think its dry.

Watchin the mounds of mosses form around the trunks of laurels I see landscapes in green. Mountians and hills like that of Tibetan thangkas .. emerald gren hills and the ingeous rocks behind some mounds have quartz veins brilliant white..This mound of moss some feet in dimaeter and a foot tall is so specail. And the rock behind it formed in by the moss now taked on the perilous heights of Himilayas..snowcapped glacial ravines ..quartz..

I smile and continue upwards.. the dry brook.

Now I find bedrock scoured clean for many yards..the seasonal hurricanes must make this brook a torrent of water.. the bedrock is so smooth here..and it has divets collecting pools of water here and there..like precipes of high altitude lakes..
kneeling peer8ing over the edge of the bedrock eyes and nose just over the edge I see the scale and ratios of a vast lake..a pool of water .

the wind rustles to canopy atop the ridge as I see there pondering this unique aspect of viewing and I laugh heartily .. HA ha haaaa

for what did this become but a joke on me ! The leaves rustling atop the ridgeline sounded like water to me when I was sitting silently delimbing the laurel down by the rivers slow meandering movements n sounds. 

So this is the sound of a waterfall of a dry brook bed cascading downwards.

Peering into the sky i stnd there my feet bare ow standing ankle deep in what was before an alpine lake . I become mesmerized by the sound of the wind and think how Basho would record these foolings of wind and terriane.

If its fall where does that scent of wild grpae vines come from...spring the petals of wild roses ..so tiny and white fluttering down int othe gorge... and now in the summer I hear a waterfall fooled by the wind.

No need to climb higher and the next dry tributary I come across  wont be another fake waterfall just out of sight.

But wait . Look at that glacial erratic boulder perched up yonder. How odd. Look at all those ferns cascading down its edges on top. Its specail.  So I continue climbing upwards and pass a few odd Rhodies along the way perched on the now steeper slopes of the ravine.  My goodness how is this lone boulder 15 feet wide and tall sitting here .  Climbing atop it I sit for a while and take in the gorge below carefull not to disturbe the thick mat of organic matter of fern growth..created by falling hemlock needles.  A single tree is growing out of this ferny mat. Only a foot tall and an inch thick. Its a small hemlock. I tug on the ferny root mass and the tree lifts up with it not even rooted into the boulders surface..no crevices or cracks to do so.

Pefect garden. A single tree, mat of dwarfed ferns and these trialing small vines with red berries. Tea berry? bearberry..I forgot the name.
Maybe one day I will remove the hemolock tree from this mat with enough fern roots so it wont croak.  And try to duplicate the environment atop a garden boulder.

Day is long and there is time to peruse the river for suiseki stones.

Then there are places down the road like Carlson's Gardens.

He is retired and hybridized azaleas and Rhodies for quite soem decades before retirement I believe. This became his professional hobby and wow what a property he has.  There is a postcard like photo of his property he hands out. ITs taken from an upper bedroom window I believe looking down at his decades old Rhodie groves around the house.  Strolling paths all over.  The Rhodies and azaleas are in full bloom.

Taking a pit stop at his home I am reminded how so many homes of Westchester look like his . And how these homes are located in these towns no matter how American - English of landscaping they are..thye have all the elements of what a Japanese Garden is . Bits and peices all over to be collected into the mind.

These are my favorite types of thoughts. More than anything in the world I treasure them. Years go by and I might never create a Japanese garden and when I see peoples ackyards in the places I meander I dare not bust thier bubble and say your property is a wild Japanese garden .. look at all these boulders and ferns mosses streams ponds ravines.. They dont want to hear that .you can tell..you get that 1000 yard stare haha... they look out with a blank expression and its no use to elaborate.

The preceding years walk these same properties and one finds excavators ripping out the glacially deposited terriane..
No more erns and mossy pathces or unique old growth Mt Laurels and such.  Replaced by flagstone walks and patios and gazebos , jungle gym sets made from red wood trees non the less.

But look closer ?

Look at the flagtones they used.

It comes from an hour north of us. Catskill Mountians . Called Bluestone. The sedimentary layers of rock quarried from these mountians were once located on the equator. The Catskills region maybe 500 million years ago was an inland ocean called th eCatskill Indland Sea I think. Right smack on the Equator. 

Stand your feet in the sands of this oceans shoreline and look west. The Acadian Mountians loomed tall rivaling the Himilayans nearing 30 thousand feet tall.  These mountians were baraged with mythical in size hurricanes..several one behind another and they couldt climb the slopes of the Acadians. torrents of water rushed down the slopes bringging white gravels and sands to the inland ocean..It looke like the perian gulf..tropical like beaches void of life- sound.no insects ..no animals or no trees yet.

Then rose the Berkshire Mountians .. Mass. people State of..knows these well. Thye too eroded into the Catskill inalnd ocean basin. Eventualy this ocean became a delta like tha ganges river delta.  And The first trees on earth  liek giant ferns grew along this oceans hills . The Mighty Acadians..hurricanes stripped the botanic life  rooted on the fotthills of these mountians faster than you can blink an eye inundating the ocean. This organic matter decaying killed the ocean making it a poison sea.   

thats when the ocena became black death. The sediments of this period created the jet black shales between layers of qurried bluestone . That bluestone is also hues of purple and reds and greys and comes from the hues of the Acadian Mountians.

Standing back on the flagstone patios of the homes I mentioned. On a rainy spring day. Take off your shoes . Its numbing cold. It'll remind you of standing in th ewaters of an ocean on its shoreline. Look at the surface of each flagstone. You'll find most contractors use a homogenous flagstone ..its smooth of grian like fine silts and al lthe stones selected match in hue of color. This matches the strata ..layer the quarry took stone out from a Catskill ocean. It means your standing in the sands silts sediments of the oceans bottom that werent disturbed by the mytical sized hurricanes .  Perhaps hundred of feet below the oceans surface. Now seek the odd stone. Its there. In the rain you see ripples upon its surface enhanced by light glimmering on the ripples edges.

That stone was effected by the oceans currents waves..disturbed by storms.

Look at the stone walls arund the patio.  Those stones arent called Select bluestone. They are rougher stones ..throwbacks fro mthe quaries not good enough quality to use for patios. Atop the wall you'll find a stone with very large ripple patterns sometimes half an inch or two inches high.

Place your hands on this stone and close your eyes and look down upon the patio where your feet stand bare on wet surface. 

In parts of NYC in old districts are very large Catskill qurried blustones 6 feet long sometimes 4 feet wide . They paved the city streets. Under steet lights on a riany day you'll see the same ripples but worn down by pedistrians.

your walking on the ocena floor. the larger the ripples called flow lineations the closer to the oceans shoreline 500 million years ago . Your standing on delicate patterns of winds and water that never should of been preserved in time.  And your standing on the surface of sands during the storm season. Thye are what created the ripples in the sand.

Now immagine looking out of the window of a jet flying over the Pacific ocean.  Looking at the Japanese archipelago.  What do you see on the oceans surface. In real time you view 20 thousand feet high a birds eye view of the oceans surface full of waves . You can see them rebounding off of islands . Thye become more distinct.  Like the raked gravels or sands around boulders planted in Kare San sui dryscapes...waves rebounding off of islands.

This is the begginings of finding Japanese Gardens in foriegn landscapes where we consruct with materials that preserve delicate patterns of movement and meaphoricaly they take you into time imemorial ... we all share the same earth.

A catskill mountian can be near 4000 feet tall in altitude. Each layer represents a seaon and year of this inland oceans past. Looking at the ripples preserved in the sands of this ocean one can immagine how chaos and fractals work with art. The ripples on the oceans floor or on the sandy floor of a lakes shoreline or a river mimick the ripples seen on the bodies of waters surface. Whe nthe wind ripples the surface of a placid lake it creates flow lineations and these are the same as the bottom of the ocean when the movements of water move the sands. The same is when the winds move sands in deserts of arabia .  In a larger sense there was once said to be a massive glacial dam across the Candian US border damming up a HUGe lake into Canada. This ice dam broke and flowed down what is I guess mississippi river region and the prarie states of rolling hills. The hills are very large up north in midwestern states of corn and wheat fields. As the tidal wave like a tsunami has a succesion of waves went south ever few hudred miles the hills became mathmaticaly smaller on computer models.

Seen from space sattelites these rolling hills are flow lineations of a massive flood .

You liek the artists I mentioned. Such as MC escher ?

He has a famous blockprint that starts as empty space..a long rectangle dozens of feet in length as a wall mural I think . Then this empty space takes on the form of gemoetric patterns like squares ..they mesh as do all of his works into abstract forms and Metamorphose is written among these patterns forming. At the end of the space forms cubism art and a chess board with Aristocratic Kings Bishops queens and pawns set on a chess board of unique manner..cubed

This reminds me of a famous Japanese Temple garden that is rectangle also. At left is raked sands with stones set upright like Aristocrats  Nobles..Modeling the Chinese Land of Immortals ? then the empty space of raked sands with patterns raked int oit and acroos from this expanse of an oceans surface mossy hills are formed out of earth.

Ever see Mc Eschers other work of art of a Citadel flying in a night sky and a girl arms raised up high sitting upon a turtles back ? She is lost in a mass of water on this turtles back as the Citadel floats out of her reach above her. Look at the turtle and one see's ripples around it.

Drop a pebble in a placid lake and one see's these ripples of cencentric rings

He did another work with a Gothic Cathdral surrounded by waters like a mythical flood ..another night scene..Monochromatic works..black and white..The waves of the silent placid ocean ripple off of the steeples.

I think of Japaese gardeners taliing about water eroding stone therefore its stronger than the stone of the stone goes against it.

The same can be said for Emperors and his leaders . If the ruling class goes against the populace..the peasants will bring down the Kindsom as does the water brings down the Mountian.

I kinda like how religion os submerged by this flood..the cethedral yet its not being eroded destryed..Its like a passive impasse. What is to happen ?

And I cant get out of my mind Mc eschers Chess Peices vertical elements reminding me of Land of Immortal stones ..that kinda in the Temples setting feel like Aristoctats as monks ..elite class must feel as thye themselves are kinda like those upright stones..a chessboard..

Now with the descimation of these homes indigenous plants boulders and such..streams sent into pipes and culverts..I see around me the burbs becoming urbanised and people cringe at the thought of Japanese gardens ..its too deep.. or they arent conducive to American gardening ..Landscaping.

Yet I stand on thier patios and wonder .

I'm standing on top of a homogenous flagstone patio with chessboard squares like MC eschers Metamorhpose..

On this surface I immagine the Kami Ike..Godspirits that with the winds across the Pacific ocean like the Kamikazi winds came to these achipelago islands to inahbit them..into the islands ponds , waterfalls boulders ancient trees..

What is I tok some of the heaviest rippled flow lineations fro mthe bottom of the catskill ocean but closer to its shoreline where the wave action really made the sands rippled . I think abstractly and realize the left of the patio is the place owhere the godpsirits came from. Emptiness..yonder..unknown. Same as the Americna Indians must of felt when the Buffalo crossed the vast rolling hills from beyond out yonder..unknown.. every year..cycles..life ..people rely in these constants ..and base thier faiths religions beliefs ..foundatios of cultures are based on the mystical.

The winds fly acros the patio and I am flying above the pacific ocean ..The godspirits winds touch the surface of the homogenous bluestone flagstone and ripple the oceans surface.  With  a mid behaving as when Picasso took in his hands clay and tormented it writhing it..molding it ..with eneegiesunstopping untill the piece was finished..removing some of the smooth flagstone isert the writhing ocean of 500 million years ago rippling the bottom of the ocean. Now th epatio takes on the delicate patterns of movement and becomes waves on the surface of the ocean.

This is the creation spirit..of the Japanese Style mindscape garden. Wi9nds of creation..godsprits..qualities in inanimate objects evoking feleings emotions and to tell them with a story ..

Begginings of Shinto across the patios surface..

Walk out acros the lawn into the woods and find some rocks..in the misnus river gorge and local glacial lakes.

Thoughts stir of the mythical islands of Horia and those islands that moved around some becoming lost..moving around like a turtle.

Removing soem of the quadrants of flagstone patio to create an earthen mound ..The first island..

Placing some metamorphicaly heated stones that were popped off into layers foud on a lakeshore..they curve..and look like the paddles of an ocean turtle. Or the abstract of a tortoises feet of thye are angluar..


riding a turtles back..the islands shifted..

The eyes of a Luna Moth..look like the symbol on a Jujutsu or Ninjas uniform..that peppermint green eyes on the moth.

The fronds of  Christmas ferns unfurl ..cinnemon ferns ..unfurling thier fiddle head fronds.

Indigenous plants found when collecting stones..
What does the cattepillar of the Luna Moth eat..Leaves of a tree ?

Birch perhaps..


Ever notice how the curled cattipillar looks like the body of a dragon at times?  And if you see the serpentine form of Stone carved  Dragon waterfountians under Buddhist Temple roofs or a small structure where a wellspring become a fountian..housed over and water leaves the dragons mouth.  Soemtimes those serpents have same shape as cattelippiars . clinging to a leaf bending contorted bodies..

The shell of a turtle has a mid row and then two lateral rows . Thye are like quadrants geometrical in shape.



The mounded hill becomes an isalnd and atop this island are set the four stones that would have been flippers of the sea turtle ..Now thye are just rocks with smooth curving contour like exposed bedrock on a smooth rounded tropical island seen fro ma blurry distance ..out yonder.

But they abstractly represent 4 parts ofthe turtles shell. Two larger stones towards the back opposite of eachother on lateral sides of the turltles. Two other stoes towrds the front of the Hill - Turtle .

At the head of the turtle is planted a single craggy rock like the Golden Temple in Japan pond island has creating  the head ofthe turtle.

At the nape of the turtle neck and his single rock representign the head is panted a natve fern found while rock collecting.

Along the spine of the turtles back is the oval length of empty space.. framed in by the four stones that now look like the wings of a moth.

No one see's this.
Come spring the fiddle heads of the ferns rise..unfurling like the antenea of a moth out of its cacoon ..blood fluids pumping int othe antenea extending the unflurling process upwards ..

The coastone like norway Fijords ..fractals of Englands coastline ..snowflakes fractlaed.. the Antenea of moths have a heathery oval spearate shape like ovate leaves..and its segemented just like a mature frond of a fern.

Soe mtropical ferns are so feather and perfectly fractaled liek that of a moths antenea complete with the fuzzy hairs probably to protect the fern growing in deep shade from tropical direct sunlight entering sporadically from  the canopy

Come time for spring maintaining this mound of soil in the flagstone patio the several fronds of fern  are picked away leaving two  to watch as they metamorphise into the moths antenea.

The odd shape of smooth bedrock on the tropical island  is seen to be the the scales of a turtle island and as the fiddle heads mature the scales become strategicaly placed wings of the moth riding on the turtle islands back.

The lime green of the moss represents the tropical forest just like the  deepest hues of green in a small suiseki stone fitting on the palm of ones hand becomes the visage of a distant tropical island .  The smooth contours of certian stones have that feel when deeply emerald almost black green.

Around this mound in the patio . Oe takes a Japanjese Rake for raking gravel and fits the last tine with a nail scribing the contours of the island etching the patio.  Saw cutting removing this line and removing the flagstone inside of the etching and replacing it with the flow lineation stones of the ripples for mthe bottom of the ocean..these ripples are now the first waves to flwo int oand rebound of the turtle island..the patio is static but takes on delicate patterns of movemment preserved in taime..liquifying the stone into water - movement.. 

Just like MC eschers girl riding the back of a turtle had waters ripples in stillness ..calm

The original winds of Kimi ike touching the patio surface ...when removign the flagstones to insert rippled stones think of abstract patterns..3 squares forward removed..one square to the left removed..skip some spaces and to the left remove two more ..like the fingers of wind minimalism touching the oceans surface.

And this can be subltly highlighted by using delicate use of the stones hues. The rippling of water on the surface of the lakes create lighter refrections of light or darker ones.. color changes..
the ordinate directions of the Kimi Ike winds can be observed and this orientates the mindscape patios scene ..so the waves rebounding off the turtle island can be larger in one side and gentler on the opposite side to convey feelings of locale..

All the way to the opposite side of the patio.. often flagstone patios are built in cramped quarters of backyards where the hill of terriane abuts the home.  So retianer walls are created to ope nthe patio space.Instead this can become the Scene for the story of the Carp that apired to jump the three tired waterfall and also the strict followance of Japanese Garden History leaving the Western melding of concepts explaining the Kami Ike winds on the other side of the patio.

Where the waterfall starts the first tier..Insert a painterly found object into the patio . A large upright stone having the wriggling form of a craps kinetic enenrgy leaping .  As this carps form of local ingenous rock rises out of the flastone patio it casts a shadow.. tracing this shadow you get an indea of the suns movement..or the moon.like a sundial.. The direction that is importent to the theme of the garden..ordinate winds..seasons .directions.. the direction fo the crap leapig..West ..what direction doea the waterfall fall from.. Geomantic properties..

This shadow can be traced and saw cut removed. Inserting the flow lineation flagstone like the wind touching the surface ofthe ocean earlier or the waves rebounding off the turtle island..now the Carp leaping verticaly ..rather than creating ripples around it like raking gravel around the carp rock..make its shadow liquify the patio into motion oce again . And here is how the bottom of an ancient ocean becomes the oceans waves at the surface and how immaginations now see's this as the shdow cast making the patio alive..moving,,, 
If done in a manner of how the rest of a fishes body seen under water ..light is bent distorting the body..one can ripple the surface of the patio as if folliwing the rest of the fishes body beneath the surface..

The undulating  form of a pine tree ..Those Dragon pines..They grow horizontaly alon gthe ground is the carp now a dragon.  And its growth is out over the third tired waterfall so the dragon can fly back home to its ancestral lands where the  Godspirits came from. Opposite direction. 

The Luna Moth that rode the back of the dragon .  HAving the green hue of moss like the Lunas body..wings.. Under the Belly of the Dragon pine atop the perilous hights of moutians.. can be planted the seeds of Lunaria .  These shimmering discs like sanddollars lusterous become the scales of the Dragons belly .. Fluttering on an Autumn moon night..The Luna Moth and Turlte island made its journey contributing to the theme of metamorphosis..  The Climax of the Garden being when the Drago ntakes flight ..discs luminescent sparking like its scales..the spirit of the moth akin..

And into the home goes these Lunaria stems to join the Window alcove ..and a scroll painting relating to the stories.. and collected western artwrk and Eastern in the American homes who admire artisans like ISamu Noguchi. Andy Goldsworthy Basho and Issa nd Picasso .

The Experience is a true cornucopia of self and insirational peoples..those who went before us ..and its not static . Not a copy of a garden in Kyoto. Or the copy of a blockprint by Hokusia.

Its part of the local geological records..delicate patterns of movement preserved in time aiding in the story of learning Japanese History and Gardening while keeping true also to our own roots .  Opens a dialogue of melding many schools of thought.

I am so happy to introduce myself and ramble on haha.

Thankyou for the kind words and I would love to share my world freely for its fun and open windows with you haha. Its spring time. Let the fresh air in  : )

This is why I like this forum. I feel at home with everyone here. Each person is contributing.

If you like I 'll take pics of all these materials rocks plants I am collecting to plant make int into a garden.  And I think if the moderator could send this posting I sent to a separate forum is probably for the best. I typed way too much and took alot of room. I feel like I imposed upon your Introduce yourself space hee hee. A lil rude of me. Reason I typed all this is you asked what comes first Rocks or Japanese Gardens and I smiled .  For me it was a white pebble , some moss and exposed bedrock on a forest knoll found when I was in nursery school. And finding Japanese Gardens capture those informative years learning about words and visuals..such a young age.  Its true. About keeping hte heart and mind of a 3 year old when learning traditions. Much more easier and fun. The academia history ad such follows sometime after ( Or not in my case ) but the psirit of immagining..that kid in you ? thats Japanese Gardening to me.

IF you have a camera ? Can I see pics of your Rhodies and Azaleas . I'll see if I can stop by Carlsons Garden and take pics of cultivars . Something I know nothing of other than Rhodies can be hard to grow here at times. 
My favorite is Rosa elegans .


whoa Richard, you wasted all this thoughts on my box, instead of sharing it with everybody.
No, not wasted, I enjoyed it very much.

I have cameras, digital and regulars, just have to figure it out how to post the pictures.
My garden is just a suburb garden, 20 years ago I grabbed 50 little rhodos I could afford and planted there, I never had them before. They grew up. Later on I started to selected better.

During the years I got carried away, bought plants before planing where to put it. Now I have to move plants constantly.

This winter we got terrible damage from storms, I lost a huge hemlock tree in the front yard, now I have more room there.

I try to change the garden mostly for shades of green and texture , still have an amazing variety of flowers and flowering shrubs others than the rhodos.

It is still cold here, had snow a week ago, but lots of flowers are out there.  Crocus, snow dropps, Helleborus, Pulmonaria, 3 different Primrose, forsithya,Viburnum bodnantense.

I don't have the Jack in the pulpits, but 2 different kind of Ariseamas, Arum Italicum and Dracunculus vulgaris or Dragon Arum . The flowers stinks for 3 days like rotten flesh, but looks very interesting and exotic.

Yes, I would enjoy to read more from you and see the pictures. I'm sure that everybody would appreciate your afford.