Saturday, May 24, 2014

HPMD (Happy Mood) at the Plateau of Man

Aerial view over Plateau of Man Park. The addition of 4 new trees
softens the landscape with rich, yet delicate detail.

     SILK ROAD 5 is just around the corner: the upcoming month of June. This year, the theme for the grid-wide hunt is Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves… a story I loved as a child, and one of the many early influences that lead to my continued interest in Asian cultures. Not only did I make a couple decorative changes inside the House of ACCentaury to accommodate the theme, but also, I wanted to enrich the landscaping in the park that visitors overlook from inside the building. I went shopping, and arrived back home with some new trees and orange flowers from Happy Mood (HPMD). Their trees are painterly, like washes of water color. The pastel effect helped soften the old gardens of the Plateau of Man. I removed a few of the older plantings, and laid in 4 HPMD trees, and a small bed of flowers to relieve the uniformity of green grass. 

Bed of orange flowers encroaching on the grassy field
before the Steward's Fountain.

     These few changes brought a huge difference in the feel of the park. There are not enough trees to suggest a forest, but their large trunks and generous canopy of leaves plot spaces such that the visitor sees the sites in the park as partially veiled. This is one of the things I love about trees. They are beautiful in themselves, and they also create mystery about the places behind them, which we cannot yet see in full, until traveling beyond them.


Friday, May 9, 2014


     Delighted by Elizabeth Tinsley’s invitation to create an installation in a garden, I had the opportunity to set up my work on the grounds around Rynn Verwood’s exquisite Palace of Tears. With the massive stone edifice in the background complementing the flowing green gardens framing it, I had an ideal site at my disposal. The cherry on the pie was the hunt story David Abbot had written. He described it briefly to me something along this line: An Emperor has gone missing, and if not found soon, civil war might be on the horizon. With a family visit planned in RL, I would only have about 3 days to build the garden scenes. I decided to base it on my interpretation of the hunt story.

     This being Fantasy Faire, I set down fanciful rival clans: frog people, centaurs, and yes, even humans from average height to the size of a mouse. The armies are composed not only of the soldiers, but their whole villages including streets and houses which are towed into the promise of battle. In the case of the Fiery Centaurs (red, orange and yellow skinned), a city grows from the back of their queen’s long robe, stringing its buildings and streets down the length of the garment, overflowing onto the ground like a delta, and finally disseminating itself into the green hills. Up the weighted robe they gallop, the Fiery centaur warriors, as their giant leader, intent on taking the title of Empress, trails her precious load with slowly measured but enormous steps, shaking the earth and rattling the bones of her enthusiastic subjects. Every citizen of the land, their houses and their fields march, converging on the Palace of Tears.

     This was the first time I participated in Fantasy Faire, which is a week-long charity drive for Relay For Life. There are lots of fabulous stores and events within the eleven highly imaginative sims. Exploring is the name of the game. You can't see it all, but what you will find is guaranteed to spark your imagination. For information, click here for their website.