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Garden of the Week...Carmen's Pond, Layla's Garden
The Rockdale News publishes a weekly feature looking at local gardens and gardeners.
On a cool summer afternoon, sitting comfortably in the shade, local business owner Danny Lockhart graciously gives his story on the construction of Carmen's Pond and Layla's Garden. The garden and the pond are named after his grandchildren, who "play in the dirt" just as much as he does. Lockhart shares that just as memories are tied to the pond and the garden, they are tied to basically every rock and plant that exists in his garden. For instance, the bank for his creek, made of stones, was built with the help of his neighbors.

"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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