In search of beauty Searching for

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Searching for Beauty
November 4th, 2007
The combination driveway retaining walls and tiered gardens create a multi-layered platform that the house appears to rise above. Andrea Palladio, our inspirational 15th century Venetian architect, preferred to build his villas on a small hill so they rose slightly above the existing plain. The ancient Greeks created the same scenario when they surrounded the Parthenon with layered steps. The tiered retaining walls we created also form a distinct border between the formal structure of the house and the less formal, front and side yards.

The garden tiers are a convenient place to store finished outdoor trim and materials in anticipation of deep winter snows. Our weather is unseasonably mild today, but we expect that to end soon.
Next spring we will install a drip irrigation system that will cover all of the gardens in the 300 foot retaining wall. Over the course of two years we hope to plant drought resistant, perennial flower beds. First we have to build a greenhouse so we can get seedlings started quickly.

When I'm working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.
R. Buckminster Fuller (1895 - 1983)
Driveway Gardens
The driveway retaining wall and tiered gardens as seen from the master bedroom window.
North Retaining Wall The northern half of the driveway retaining wall and tiered gardens. South Retaining Wall The southern half of the tiered gardens.
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House in November, 2007 One year ago Justin and Aaron were framing the first floor...
How things have changed.
November 4th, 2007
Kevin and his crew from Yellowstone Masonry set up their stone cutting shop in the back yard. The steps and risers are pressure formed under 4,000 pounds per square inch from concrete and type III cement. A fine grained stippled finish provides a good grip even when wet or covered with snow. We purchased our steps, risers and pavers from Stepstone in Gardena, California. They had everything in stock, shipped quickly and all items arrived safely.

Learn more about Stepstone at or call them at
South Portico Steps Stone steps and risers lend a tiered or layered appearance, to the south portico. North Portico Steps The crew from Yellowstone Masonry carefully install the north portico or main entryway, stone steps.
November 8th, 2007
When November snows blanket my high mountain yard they usually stay here until April and sometimes May. Rich and his crew worked feverishly knowing that the warm weather could end in just 24 hours. Aaron and Justin created forms and poured foundations for the two garden gazebos at opposite ends of the front yard. Chuck, Kim and Shane cleared an area behind the garage for a gently sloped ramp that will lead to the future English garden. Then they finished a small driveway that will lead from the back of the greenhouse and loop around two horseshoe courts before connecting with the main driveway. Between the horseshoe courts and the greenhouse we will build another tiered garden retaining wall. Next spring we will surround this garden with a deer proof fence and then plant vegetables.

People often say that 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder,' and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder. This empowers us to find beauty in places where others have not dared to look, including inside ourselves.
Salma Hayek
Gazebo Foundations
Aaron and Justin created foundations for garden gazebos.
Greek Temple Foundation Circular gazebo or Greek Temple foundation. Future Garden Ramp Chuck builds a dirt platform for a green treat, wooden garden ramp, behind the garage.
Sinclair Dinasaur
A friendly brontosaurus at the Emigrant General Store and Sinclair gas station.
November 10th, 2007
Today the sky is grey and low lying clouds occasionally spit forth droplets of cold rain and wet snow. Around noon the clouds lift a little and I decided to get one more Yellowstone Park hike in before the ground is covered in white and I have to break out my skis or snowshoes. I followed the old Bunsen Peak loop road past Osprey Falls and to the base of Bunsen Peak. Unfortunately the clouds returned and a cold, wet snow started to fall in earnest. I admired the beautiful view and then followed the trail back to Mammoth Hot Springs.
Storm Clouds Storm clouds gather over the Golden Gate canyon near Bunsen Peak in Yellowstone National Park. Osprey Falls Osprey Falls plummets several hundred feet into the Gardiner River canyon.

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.
John Muir (1838 - 1914)
Electric Peak Snow covered Electric Peak catches the last rays of the setting sun. Sunset Late autumn sunset over the Gallatin mountain foothills
Beauty. Sometimes I find it in rushing waterfalls that plummet hundreds of feet to the valley floor. Sometimes I experience it in magnificent sunsets that fill the sky with soft pinks, yellows and oranges. Sometimes I feel it in the gentle and soft curls of a women's hair or the delicate curves of her hips. Beauty often surrounds me and I delight in its presence. Beauty gently washes over me like an ocean wave laps over a sandy beach. It washes away my worries, leaving me with a measure of happiness and serenity. I still do not understand the true nature of beauty. However I always recognize her and welcome her company. Emigrant Peak Emigrant Peak is dwarfed by a majestic sunset.
Front Row Seat A front row seat before Mother Nature's stage. Sunset A magnificently detailed sunset where the entire sky is filled with delicate colors.
Cascade A cascading waterfall in Golden Gate Canyon. Bunsen Peak Snow tinged Bunsen Peak helps feed a small creek in Golden Gate canyon.
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Page 27
Race Against the Weather

Tim's Life
Main Table of Contents

Branford Bike
Fire Story
Table of Contents

Page 29
Winter Cascades into Paradise Valley