Oddities and More at The Bone Garden

January 2019

Bone GardenAre you ready for a completely different kind of shopping adventure? Searching for a gift for that person in your life who has everything?

The Bone Garden, at 72 North Pioneer Street (downstairs below Taqueria Picaro), could be just the ticket. Owner Rueben Davis describes the shop, which he opened last October, as “an interesting and unique assortment of oddities and curiosities from nature, history and the natural world.”

At the Bone Garden, you’ll find animal bones and skulls, taxidermy feathers and skins, preserved insects and specimens, minerals and crystals, odd houseplants and succulents, curious antiques, handmade jewelry, local art, and what Rueben describes as “oddly assorted and unexpected surprises.” Among those surprises recently was fine art bone and stone jewelry from local artist Kat Davis, who creates beautiful wearable pieces using rare crystals and pieces of animal bone.

The Bone Garden is a venture that combines Rueben’s many and varied life experiences and interests. A native of southern Oregon, he has lived in Ashland since 1981. As a child, he acted in Shakespeare plays; his mother was a costume cutter at OSF for 30 years.

He has owned and operated a number of retail stores in Ashland since 1994, including Lowdown Boardshop and Anubis Tattoo and Body Piercing. “Many people know me as ‘The Skateboard Guy’ for my time organizing and fundraising to get skateparks built in Ashland, Talent, Medford and Jacksonville,” he says.

With an educational background in science, Rueben also taught biology at Ashland High, Grants Pass High School and in labs at Southern Oregon University. After realizing that teaching was not his calling, he combined his love of the natural world with a penchant for finding unique artistic elements and launched his latest venture.

“I’ve always been fascinated by nature as well as the strange, the unique and the oddly artistic,” he says. “I had to come up with something new and this just seemed like the natural next thing; something unique and very different from what traditional retail offers, something that combines my own personal interests, education and business experience.”

Rueben likens the Bone Garden to a natural history museum where everything is for sale. The store’s current offerings feature copper plated skulls, bones and insects. He invites everyone to stop in and enjoy an experience that can’t be found anywhere else. “The whole experience is extremely unique!”

For more info, call 541-708-0777 or go to etsy.com/shop/BoneGardenOddities. They are also on Facebook.