My Artist Garden
Dreaming my Artist Garden.
Surrounding my world in beauty is as old as my age.
Six years ago we acquired a hundred year old cottage in a seaside community on Salt Spring Island. It’s age is masked in decades of handiwork of which we slowly peel back, refresh, renovate, add on to, make our own. This Spring my attention is to my artist garden.
Years of established plantings are tangled with memory of past garden lovers. Clematis stock thick as my wrist grow over rickety trellis gates, creep up house walls, entangle balcony railings. Climbing deeply pink roses entwine as old lovers and with each year that passes in my stewardship of this magical garden I am ever so grateful it’s loving foundation.
Making my Artist Garden Manifest
Painting inspirations come easy while travelling, however this year my passport to cherished wonder is right before my eyes. Views from my art studio over my garden ‘I see’ it’s trellised entrance with two seats for companioned contemplation. It’s gate embellished with pruned branches from the spiralling 75 year old plum that shades one corner. A deer fence surround for safekeeping of new plantings prone to the feasting families that have nibbled and roamed our tiny plot of land for generations. It’s lumpy terrain a graveyard for deer who find their way to its sanctuary for their final rest. Today burial mounds now covered in English Daisy’s are honoured as the tangled mess of established fruit trees, lilacs and hawthorn growing out of blackberry hedges.
Every spring it’s flowering show casts spells into the cauldron of my imagination.
My imaginings are only desired perceptions and so I pencil a treasure map, my thoughts onto graph paper and paint my dream.
I purchase plants from farm stands, grocery stores and favourite nurseries
on the island. I visualize an avenue of pear trees tracing the bark mulched path to the more established sunken garden. A cedar hedge I plant to camouflage a blackberry scalped hedge that now glaringly exposes a neighbours backyard trailer. I coddle the 4’ conifer, pray for thick fast growth to masque the neighbours eyesore. And with mulched compost, fertilized soil and liquid brew of root start I sing my encouragement to the fledging hedge prive. Duart build a planter box for our 48th year anniversary, wisteria, I lovingly plant by the trellis gate he constructs. At the wisteria base a trio of purple lupins are producing healthy conical buds. The northwest side is sheltered by original towering gnarled white lilacs it’s bed thick periwinkle. Inside the deer proof garden I plant a row of three white evergreen Pieris. Their height will soon cover the wire fence it borders. The south west side corner niche sheltered under my studio window rests a five foot high and round water storage tank. Handy to the rain spout from my studio roof it gives abundance of water for my garden during the hot summer months. The plastic water tank will be covered in a succulent green roof with a surround of cedar.
My garden is growing, evolving, nourishing and dreaming my creative life. It’s evolution a metaphor, mirror for each thought when I care to look. Sometimes I have direct dogmatic intention, or wistful longing to be complete. Sometimes deep satisfaction especially after hours of digging out rocks and thick sod to plant 20plus cedars. Or, awareness to dig up, move and massage a plant that wakes me in the night moaning it is just not happy where I planted it. I listen, talk, sing to my garden. I cajole, manipulate, coax then realize my stubborn nature. My artist garden becomes a dear friend I care for, I confide in, feel safe with. In turn it is unconditional love when I realize it’s blessing.
PINTEREST Link is also a source of inspiring ideas, creating my own artist garden board becomes a library for my research. See my Instagram page daily post