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A state of tranquility envelops me as I wander through Jim Needham’s Gravity Garden, located a stone’s throw (so to speak) from the Carmel coastline, three miles south of Carmel where Highway 1 meets Fern Canyon Road.

Balance and gravity work symbiotically to support his unique artistic creations. Towers of stones, some reaching nine feet tall, fill his one-acre front yard, creating a one-of-a-kind outdoor museum.

Feeling a metaphysical connection with the earth and the stones he works with, Needham says he listens to the spirit of each rock as he lifts and stacks them. No mortar or glue is employed. He likes that each rock is unique, just as each person is unique.

Needham’s romance with stones began after the storms of 1995, when he recognized the rocks that had tumbled into his yard were gifts.

The rock garden is fluid and ever-changing. His stony totem poles often last five years, resisting wind, weather and even earthquakes. He said it depends on how the stack is in harmony with the earth.

It’s free to walk through the gardens any day, but please don’t touch. Visit rockstacker.com for more information.

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