Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Science of Rocks

I was visiting Smith College this weekend and had a chance to check out the Clark Science Center courtyard. It has a unique rock garden that was completed last year (2013). 

There was a variety of small platings surrounding the courtyard area comprising some mountain laurel and fragrant sumac, sedums, inkberry, sibe-rian squill, black-eyed Susan's and tall switch-grass. 

Angular blocks of granite and tile help to frame the area. Natural rocks quarried from New England and New York also populate the garden. 

In addition, there is a donated piece of petrified wood from Arizona. 

The center piece of the garden is a sculpture that had once resided in the lobby of Burton Hall. It was created by sculptor Helaman Fergurson in colaberation with two Smith College professors (Marjorie Senechal and Louise Wolf Khan). Called "Aperiodic Penrose Alpha," the sculpture embodies mathematical concepts related to non-repeating patterns. Sorry, I'm no mathematician, and hence can't explain the theory, but I can still appreciate the beauty of the sculpture. 

When viewed amongst the angular granite blocks, natural stone formations, and surrounding plants, one is overwhelmed by the power of geometry to remind us about the beauty of the natural world. 

I am inspired. Perhaps I can one day incorporate a similar approach to the area along the back of the garage (my current dumping ground, where the camper once lived). 

Technically, it is outside of the existing Zen Garden, but its' very long and linear nature could prove to be an interesting addition.

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