"Although this is Rockdale County, most of these rocks are not from my property. These stones were given to me by neighbors," he said. As we continued our conversation, he pointed out several plants that have stories linked to them.
When asked what inspired him to create something beautiful in this particular spot, he said that most of his property was covered with kudzu; the inspiration was there, he just had to find it. He had to go through a clearing process and see what his yard offered. Once he found this out, he began digging away at a bare creek bed. His digging came to a halt once he hit solid rock.
With nothing left to dig, he began constructing the bank. After all his time and effort, his eyes now rest on a garden full of cane lilies, purple petunias, elephant ears and day lilies, among others. His inspiration comes from what his observes on a daily basis.
"It's therapy, stress relief, a hobby, and I get to enjoy it all year round. It truly is enjoyable to sit out here and listen to the birds, listen to the waterfall, and watching the beauty...there's a lot of beauty in your own backyard, but you have to tap into it."
When asked what his additions and future projects will be, he said, with a smile, "becoming one with the yard." He explained that you have to understand what nature is going to do; you cannot put a plant in any chosen area and expect it to flourish. He does not believe in just letting something die if it has an opportunity to live in a different area. "If something I plant will not thrive in one spot, then I will move it somewhere else."
As the plants get their feel for where they need to be, additions to his yard are born, bringing added beauty to any area of Layla's Garden and his yard. As Lockhart's plants rest their roots, future developments coincide with the additions.
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