Happy New Year to All!
Clayton is currently working on proposals, so instead of perusing his studio, I am standing at the kitchen counter observing the Japanese garden he designed. I am constantly amazed at the scope of Clayton’s planning; even in “bleak mid-winter,” this garden is alive and vibrant. Espaliered wisteria branches, pruned a month ago, decorate the broad expanse of the back wall which protects this garden from the sound and sight of cars zooming by on the road outside. In the middle of the wall hangs a bird feeder where at the moment a Red-Bellied Woodpecker, a Starling, and three House Sparrows are all feeding. Waiting on the wisteria branches are a Tufted Titmouse, a Cardinal and a Black-Capped Chickadee. Three Blue Jays and a pair of Mourning Doves are cleaning up the unopened seeds which have fallen to the ground. Below, a Song Sparrow drinks from a small pool midway down the waterfall, while five other Sparrows are bathing to the right near the shallow “rapids” of this same re-circulating water element. Behind these birds is ground-hugging green and white ivy and behind this, a grove of seven pruned black gum trees and waist high variegated bamboo, the latter still sporting its green and yellow leaves. On the far left side of this scene near the moon gate leading out to the road, a climbing rose still clings to its green leaves, reflecting the micro-environment created in the small enclosed space. Green pachysandra leads my eye back to the wintergreen with its red berries directly in front of the kitchen window. What a joyous scene to behold while drinking hot tea in a warm kitchen.