Thursday, July 11, 2013

The mountains rock (quite literally)...

Black boulders from China
There are clever people who live at over 8000' a short drive from Denver so that when we are parboiling on summer afternoons, they're basking in cooler clime. We are fortunate to know a remarkable couple who live near Conifer and  who have created an extravaganza of a home and garden we have enjoyed over the years: here you can see some of the many enormous rocks that Robert has had shipped from China that he has highlighted in his amazing Oriental garden...

Robert and with a glimpse of Tai Hu rock to the left...
 There are galleries here and there in the Ponderosa woodland featuring these monumental rocks...

His latest acquisition from China
 He enjoys watching my jaw drop each year when he reveals yet another magnificent rock: this Tai Hu gem was just installed. If you are not aware, Lake T'ai (太湖 (Tai Hu) in Chinese) is the source for these Henry Moore megaliths that are featured in many of the greatest Chinese gardens, like the garden of the Nets and Humble Administrator's garden in Suzhou. I suspect you would have to go thousand miles or more to encounter another such rock in America...

More Tai Hu monoliths and flowers
 Except of course from those Robert obtained in earlier years. Early July is a slow time in Denver gardens, but the height of late spring-early summer bloom in Conifer!

Geranium sanguineum dwarf form
 The geraniums are mostly past peak in Denver, but still blazing in the Montane.

ANOTHER cluster of classic stones...
This cluster of monoliths is set off with a lovely meadow geranium's blue color...

Robert leading us along the way

A newly acquired antique sculpture

This sculpture has been in place for as long as I recall, however..

Some other guests in one of the flower gardens

Art in the garden
 In addition to being garden connoisseurs, Robert and Lisa are lovers of art--both in their house and in the garden. I always do a double take seeing a bookshelf in the garden...

A number of their sculptures are quite funny...

Artemisia ludoviciana
 I was especially taken with this nice bank of Louisiana sage...

Flags connote the recent National holiday outside a guest cottage

The many elaborate containers are largely due to their having a large greenhouse on site.

Bocce  ball, anyone?

Sculpture of all kinds...

I always chuckle when I walk by this one...

Not everyone can have a 9 hole golf course on their property!

The engine on the functioning Model T fascinates us...

A last glimpse of the newly installed scholars on the lawn...

I know many locals are beginning to collect viewing stones--but this must be the largest and most dazzling in the state!

Thank you, Robert and Lisa, for yet another enchanting Sunday in Coolorado!


  1. Panayoti, What have Robert and Lisa contributed to gardening which cannot be bought and shipped? How have they toiled to create this garden? What difficulties, risks, and failures have they over come out of a love for the art. This is the story I would like to be told.

  2. There is a great deal to be said about the evolution of any garden--let alone a garden comprising dozens of acres on a mountain top at well over 8000': The garden goes back nearly 30 years and has all manner of styles and components (veggies, perennials, bulbs, tropical greenhouse, orchid conservatory): to tell the whole story would take man blogs: I was merely giving a taste of what it was like last Sunday afternoon. And suffering a case of major rock lust! As a rock gardener, I am not merely in love with plants!

  3. Yes, I too am envious. The reality of the situation is the closest my talents might come to such a garden is if plants I grow were included in it.


  4. I just look up the definition of the word envious. I see now it was a poor choice of words. Your description of "Lust" fits much better.


  5. We all garden in different circumstances. Many of the great and venerable gardens of the UK and Europe would never have built without vast amounts of money, paid labour, love and artifice ... and now they are shrines to garden lovers everywhere.
    This stunning garden has been built with the same love that some very rich men invest in their cars, their baseball teams, their yachts, their divorces ... we mere mortals can only appreciate the beauty, dispel the expenditure and lust accordingly.
    Good on you Robert and Lisa ... so much prettier than political posturing.

  6. Cliff … still it would be cool if Robert and Lisa located the secret mine containing these rocks after decades of perilous searching. They then only secured ownership of said rocks after winning a lucky hand of poker from a mogul in Shanghai. Upon securing transport to the coast they discovered their associates were hauling the stones with an elephant relative which possessed two fingers on the trunk. This unique characteristic identified the pachyderm as a species thought to have been extinct. At the coast they lost their treasured rocks to ruthless Shanghai pirates. Recovery of their treasured rocks only was obtained with the craftiest guile. Then they faced the hardest part when they arrived in the United States … getting through customs.


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