The Oval Garden


Frère David has studied you garden on the internet. I wish you could see his gardens. He sees gardens like Persian carpets, logic appeals, paintings, musical compositions according to the same theory, his modification of Christian von Ehrenfels' Gestalttheorie.

There is one thing, on which he has a critical hook: Your garden has stone walls with unplastered joints. There are two black amphorae of heavy metal left and right of the steps. They give the optical impression to be heavier than the walls, or to be more compact in steir structure than the wall.

He said it looks like a giant on fragile feet, because the more compact structure (cast iron) is on top of a less compact stone structure. I think, it caused him a sleepless night. The problem is: I can understand him (getting sleepless about such questions)

excerpt from a letter of my friend David Engberg (Sven Larsson) June 2010

ah, Sven, but there is a history to everything. i understand your critique on the mismatch between the stone wall and the cast iron urns. Actually what I must do after I send this letter, is to rebalance the urns as over the winter the dry wall stones have shifted because of the frost - thaw heaving of the earth behind the wall. It's a very quick job; just slide some narrow blue stone under the base of the urn and the whole thing will stand up straight again at 90 degrees, proudly overlooking my oval garden.

Up to about 20 years ago, the care takers of the land, Sam + Martha lived where the oval garden is now. When they were murdered in November 1991 and their children sold the trailer they lived in, a large swath of my land became available for me to play with. Where the wall is now, the land sloped and I had a bulldozer cut away the slope. From a blue stone quarry not even 500 meters from the house, a friend and i gathered enough stone to build the retaining wall. The stones from this little quarry are very flat and not bulky, making it easy to stack the stones on top of each other. We picked up each stone and puzzled it into place.

Yes, the stones are stacked on top of each other without cement. The wall is built leaning into the earth and the back is filled with rubble to make it one with the earth. All walls in Upstate New York are built that way. Even the foundations of houses. All along the narrow country roads here there are miles and miles of drywall stone hedges gathered and built by farmers hundreds of years ago to prepare the grounds for cultivation.

The big oval wall, as i call it, did not have stone steps in it, until a about five years ago. Just a ladder type structure. When I finished building the stone steps, i was impressed with the majesty of the whole thing. Structures made out of unwieldy stone poured into a curved, almost moving, whole have that effect.

Ergo, don't let the loose stone effect of the dry wall mislead you into thinking there is a conflict here. In this part of the world it is a fine blend of the beautiful things we have available.....


Frere David: J'avais bien remarqué l'effet des murs. Ils renforcent les lignes du jardin par une sorte de texture. Il donne une structure précise au relief topographique et structure l'espace de l'ensemble du manière très forte.
Les deux vases. Ils sont très importants. Imagine a beautiful face with a beautifil nose. But the nose hasn't any nostrils. These vases médicis are like nostrils in a face. Necessary.


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The House




The Ponds

Flowers in Vases

 The Oval

Kazan, Kiki & Duke

Winter & Snow


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