May Flowers by Moi
One of the most beautiful and beloved gardens in the world was designed by Monet, an artist with no landscaping experience . He declared "more than anything I must always have flowers, always, always. " He planted his gardens as subjects for his paintings. " "The richness I achieve," he said, " comes from nature, the source of my inspiration."
I also combine my passions for gardens and art and like Monet, nature is a great source of my inspiration as well. The verdant rolling hills of my youth are forever in my heart and mind and the fragrance of cedar and pine in my nostrils. I cannot pass a garden , no matter how humble or ostentatious, without appreciating the good elements of design it may have, but more than that, the beauty it brings to my eyes and soul.
Winter does not bring landscaping or gardening to an end, rather it is the season we spend planning for the coming Spring. I find inspiration in the glossy garden magazines, the many treasured volumes I have on gardening, attending garden shows and visiting numerous gardeners who blog on the subject. I know many who welcome Fall and Winter as a break from the gardening season but if I had my druthers I would choose a place to garden year round for I never tire of it .
Spring renews my winter-weary soul. Like the earth I am awakening to a new season, a new beginning. Every emerging plant is a source of inspiration and I am eager to start creating a beautiful garden for someone to enjoy and attending to mine as well.
Having grown up without the inspiration and nurturing a mother gives a daughter, I have found a source of it in friends , family and others I come into contact with. From the person who bought my first painting to the client who trusted me enough to say " do your thing " with my garden and loved the results, all have inspired me to greater heights.
One of my greatest inspirations comes from visiting both public and private gardens, especially those that have left a living legacy of their work behind.
Monet's Masterpiece -Giverny
Vita Sackville-West's Sissinghurst
Thomas Jefferson's vegetable garden at Monticello
To create a garden or a work of art doesn't require a degree in horticulture , landscape design, or painting. As famous fellow Alabamian Helen Keller said " Don't look to college for ideas. " That is not to say that education isn't important, it is, but inspiration is the well-spring from which creativity flows.
The gardens of novices Monet, Vita Sackville-West, and Thomas Jefferson provide a continuous source of delight and inspiration to all who are fortunate to see them. As a primitive painter and garden designer I think I'm in good company.
Visit the following Ladies and Knights of the Roundtable to see what inspires them :
Andrew Keys : Garden Smackdown : Boston, MA
Douglas Owens-Pike : Energyscapes : Minneapolis, MN
Ivette Soler : The Germinatrix : Los Angeles, CA
Lesley Hegarty & Robert Webber : Hegarty Webber Partnership : Bristol, UK
Rebecca Sweet : Gossip In the Garden : Los Altos, CA
Susan Morrison : Blue Planet Garden Blog : East Bay, CA