Parliament Of Owls In A Woodland Garden

Eight stone owls with etched details and yellow eyes

If the idea of gardening merely prompts memories of garden chores such as leaf-blowing, mowing, edging, dead-heading, thank your lucky stars you don’t have to engage in large scale owl-shifting.

Hearing Sherra Owen (whose garden these owls inhabit) on MPB radio reminded me that I had not yet shared my picture of her stone owl log. It is unfair of me not to say once again what a wonderful woodland garden she has, but she’s such a lovely person, I feel sure she won’t mind. Even her wooden fence thrills me, to say nothing of her trilliums, hellebores and other woodland ephemerals.

Apparently one of the things about encouraging owls to roost on fallen timber is that the wood decays and the owls fall… or rather they would, if the lady in question did not move them to a freshly fallen log. Continue reading

Tuesday Ragtag Prompt: Energy

Margaret has set an interesting RagTag challenge, asking us to convey energy through a still picture. Here are my offerings:

Elvis, dancing alone, with one hand held high

Elvis, faded into a wall in Clarksdale, MS, in a pose that delights in the energy he had in his prime: energy the established order saw as a threat. Layers of lines and textures interested me almost as much as the subject.

Female hood ornament with graceful posture

Curves rule in this hood ornament that has the energy of a skater, seemingly in motion, even when fixed to a parked car. Flowing lines and an energetic posture reflect the smooth power of the machine, although on a yazoo clay road in Jackson, MS, perhaps not!  Continue reading

Stone Angel

Angel's face

As a Doctor Who fan, I really ought not to like stone angels as much as I do. My sweetheart loves to visit cemeteries in his quest for tough plants (‘flowers even dead people can grow’). We often see cherubs but the more characterful angels, like this one holding out a lily in remembrance, are rare.  Continue reading

Pebble Mosaic Garden Paving At Gresgarth Hall, Lancashire

Part of the joy of visiting Gresgarth Hall Garden is the chance to admire so many well-sourced, premium quality garden accessories – all the bits and bats as we say up North. Each thoughtful touch beautifully enhances the space, from the frog decorated tap (faucet), to garden benches, gates, cloches, terracotta planters, greenhouses – even the plant labels. The lady of the house, Lady Arabella Lennox-Boyd, includes five gold medal-winning Chelsea Flower Show gardens amongst her credits as a landscape designer. So the stone mosaic walkways in Gresgarth’s Zodiac Garden are par for the course: superb modern interpretations of an ancient art.

Pebble paving design: lion and sun motif

The Zodiac Garden’s hand-made pebble mosaic pathway features astrological signs (in this case, Leo) representing family members.

Knowing that pebble floor designs of ancient Greece, Rome and Mesopotamia still exist today makes me wonder how many centuries these designs will live on the garden pathway.  Continue reading

Castlerigg Stone Circle

Castlerigg stone circle

Most visitors will thrill to the majestic setting for this stone circle. It’s on a natural plateau that overlooks a valley and is encircled by the Cumbrian hills and mountains. I was lucky to get the first shot with a blue sky: mist soon rolled in and the sky turned overcast.

A military jet zipping through the hills and valleys of this wild, out of the way place for training created interesting juxtapositions: flying vs earthed; motion and dexterity vs weight and mass; man made vs natural; contemporary vs megalithic. Strangely the jet didn’t feel out of place, just a different type of harnessed power.   Continue reading