My Mineral Rock Gardens

I often get asked about my rock gardens, what I have in them and how big they get…last fall I planted several small beds of tulips and other spring flowering bulbs in all of my rock gardens and this spring I moved rocks around by type and location where found…and photographed the results when the spring flowers started blooming. This first image shows the rock garden on the west side of my shed, containing purple fluorites from western Kentucky, some of my wavellite from southern Arkansas, and many geodes from central Kentucky and the Keokuk area as well as a few quartz clusters from southern Arkansas mines…

…and as you can see, it mainly contains yard rocks…and some lillies at the top and on the west side as well….where my propane tank sits, I have Eminence yard rocks and some hybrid tulips….

the garden on the east side of the shed contains more flowers but starts near the shed door with a bed of lillies surrounded by a variety of beautiful crystals….

and on the far side of that garden is another bed of lillies surrounded by quartz clusters….

and just a little ways away in the curve of that garden is a nook of geodes….

…and more hybrids in yet another garden….

Hopefully that gives you a better idea of what my rockgardens look like. 🙂

Florida Trip and Diamond Hill Quartz

My Mom decided back in the fall that she wanted to celebrate her ten year remission from cancer, in a warm and sunny location during the winter this year, and when my sister told her that she and Brad and my nephew and nieces were planning a trip to Orlando during spring break, Mom decided that would be the perfect time and place to go as well.  When she asked me to go with them, I decided it would be a great opportunity to do some rock and mineral collecting and since I would be driving down a few days ahead of them,  some photo shoots as well. With the problems everyone was having getting through the airline security lines and anticipating taking my rockhounding tools with me, knowing what problems it would create, I opted to drive down instead. One night at work, I figured out the mileage roundtrip,  and figured out my fuel consumption would average out to the same cost as airline tickets round trip. So I planned my vacation the week before my Kentucky Mine Dig weekends, taking off eight days for the trip. Monday the 14th, we woke up to five inches of snow on the ground and I sure hoped this wasnt going to be a treacherous drive down, but my prayers were answered the next morning when Missy and I left town mid morning to a cool but sunny day. After a long day on the road, we arrived in Atlanta where we stayed an extra day with good friends Tad Boomer and his partner Roger. After a little small talk, we were soon asleep in the basement guest room.

The next morning Missy and I slept in a bit, visited with Tad and checked my emails, and then Missy and I headed over to Watkinsville, to visit with a new rock and mineral dealer friend, Chet Karwoski, who I had been talking to for about a year regarding the Diamond Hill Mine, and skeletal quartz specimens. Up to recent times, Chet had owned and operated the mine, only recently selling the mine to a friend of his, and we had discussed possibly trading some crystals, so I brought some poker chips and druse quartz down for him. We had agreed to meet mid afternoon and about 3 pm Missy and I arrived at his beautiful rural home and visited with him and his wife Gail, who is an author of childrens books. We talked about various mines and minerals and crystals a while before getting into the actual show and tell and trade. Chet has some gorgeous large specimens of skeletal quartz in his front yard, four of them shown below that required a small crane to place into position in his yard….

Large Skeletal Quartz Yardrock at Chets


..this one a very pretty specimen with both the iron oxice stained orange crystals and the black manganese coating on the crystals…

Large Skeletal Quartz CloseupLarge Yardrocks Skeletal Quartz Chets House

Large Yardrock Skeletal Quartz Chets HouseLarge Yardrock Skeletal Quartz Backside

…we traded for some smaller crystals, most of them the pretty skeletal quartz, but I also selected a few of the amethyst and smokey quartz crystals too. Here are a few of my trades…

Large Plate with Amethyst CrystalAmethyst Crystal on End of Skeletal PiecePalm Sized Chunk Amethyst & SmokeySmaller Cluster of Skeletal QuartzSmall Amethyst & Smokey Cluster

Diamond Hill Mine is a neat mine with a huge tailing pile area to dig through that produces some very beautiful smokey quartz and amethyst crystals and huge plates and chunks, like those pictured above, of skeletal quartz. Its located about two hours north of Atlanta near Abbeville, South Carolina.  Since I didnt have enough time this trip and since it had rained recently with the mud making it nearly impossible to dig there,  I decided I would come back in the fall season instead. The next day we continued on down to Florida for a few days of fun and relaxation, photo shoots, and family time…for the rest of that story, check out my other blog site