Michael Seward
Furniture Maker












Building a rock garden in the Spring, including pictures from our woodland garden.


Rocks were collected from piles accumulated around the property. The soil was amended with a couple of wheelbarrow loads of composted sawdust and leaf mold, mixed with 25% grit from the local feed store (they feed it to chickens), and 25% gravel. Mix well, build the rock structure, and add plants that do well in such circumstances, dwarfs which have evolved to survive in rocky, well drained soil.


Sedum 'Angelina'

Saxifrages 'Red Backed Spider';' Cloth of Gold"

Scotch Moss 'Aurea"

Thyme 'Doretta Klaber'

Hosta from Pat and Tom

Lambs Ears, Stachys 'Silky Fleece'

Rock Garden, looking North Japanese Maple 'Corallinum' Spring Color
Japanese 'Full Moon' Maple Huechera 'Caramel'
Japanese Bleeding Heart
Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Oriental Mouse Tail Native Bleeding Heart
'Kiyo Hime' Japanese Maple on a rainy day.
Fern Fiddle Heads  Heron's Bill, Erodium 'Roseum"
Mayapple Japanese Painted Fern
Lungwort Wood Poppy
Jefferson's Twin Leaf Hosta 'Sagae'
Hosta 'Great Expectations' Native Bloodroot
Acer Palmatum "Villa Tarranto" Japanese Maple 'Aka Shigitatsu Sawa'
Karen and I built this rock garden together, just as I discovered that  my cancer treatments are no longer working. The pain in my back is evidence of new tumors in my spine.

Our rock garden is just a beginning. Room is left for the plants to mature and spread over time. A Japanese Maple is at the apex of the garden, with it's roots tied over a rock. The rock is buried to the top, but as the years go on, the rock will be lifted by stages to expose the roots clutching to the rock, draping down the rock to the soil below.

The garden is a metaphor for life. It reminds us that new life arises out of the history of generations. Out of the cold wet earth, a new generation of plants are born out of the detritus of the old. It's is the nature of life itself to arrive in the context of a long history, to unfold and glory in the sun and the rain, struggle against the wind and the hail, the bugs and the droughts, and prevail only to pass away in the end.

The garden reminds us that that the impulse to grow and thrive requires the proper conditions to prosper. The intricate web of life is on display in the garden, illustrating that all living things share a common ancestor.

Now if I can just keep the deer and the squirrels, the fungus and the bugs, the droughts and deluges from undoing our handiwork, it should look pretty good in a few years.

Bonsai Japanese Maples
Full Moon Maple, Spring color A seedling from 'Bloodgood', recovered from under the hedges.
Native Iris Cristata Vegetable garden, tilled, raked and ready.
Trillium and Bloodroot Japanese Maple 'Beni Hime'
Variegated Solomon Seal Japanese Hakone Grass
Spring blooms of a native azelea
Spring color of a Japanese Maple named after a poem about ducks flying up from a swamp 'Aka Shigitatsu Sawa'
Acer Palmatum 'Orangeola'
Japanese Painted Fern Acer Shirasawanum
Hosta after an overnight Spring shower
Fothergilla Coral Bell



Michael Seward
Karen Holway
9706 Manifold Road
New Park, PA  17352