I reviewed these posts and realized how much more there is to say about the place and its construction. There were so many fascinating aspects to it all. I often refer in this blog to John Stone and I even have his website mentioned often in this blog. Working as closely with him as I did acquainted me with his various tasks during the initial and then middle phases of the project. As mentioned, I relocated to Reno, Nevada at about the halfway mark of the construction but I still got some interesting updates and conclusions from John, telephonic ally.
Among the most interesting facets of the project involved the researching and the discovery of appropriate plants for the project. What this involves is nothing short of weird and not the standard mode of acquiring plant materials at all. With a tight budget, mixed with the stated desire to have mature plantings gracing the project, some creativity was required. Thus, many days were spent with John and the Chinese engineers and Project Supervisor, a female, tramping out into the wilds of nurseries’ “back 40’s”, looking for previously-ignored trees and plants. It actually paid off handsomely, now and then, with these surprisingly gorgeous trees once considered ‘unsellable’, and virtually ignored, suddenly becoming something more. Talks went on, sales made, designers pleased as some semblance of possibility and completion reared its head.
As well, we cast an eye to highways and highway landscaping. The Oregon DOT had plants which had nearly outgrown their usefulness and were fascinating in their size and shapes. They gratefully and generously acquiesced in their relocation. Work commenced, excavating these big suckers by hand, as were so very many of the others. John and a raft of willing workers became more than well-versed in the removal and sustaining of these large trees, all of which began to be staged at a lot nearby the new Gardens in a growing lump. We supplied irrigation for them and protected the root balls until the time for planting came.
I always found the process fascinating, myself. I also always figured as far as resourcefulness and opportunity were concerned, I have seen few – if any – projects whose savings and whose resourcefulnesses were so fully utilized. I stand impressed to this very day.