Imagining The Garden

Imagine a garden wherein an eye does fly from a leaf’s invitation into a petal’s inspiration. Whether you prefer painting a garden or gardening with an artistic eye is not Spring the perfect time to begin such imaginings?  “To create a little flower is the labour of ages,” said William Blake.  Before you begin your labor of love why not leaf through a book or two and explore the size, shape, color and form that your creation might take.

kubota-gardenAn avid gardener might consider what might be wrought from the daring paring of  The Artist and the Garden by Roy C Strong .   A broader perspective could be gleaned in Art and the Gardener: Fine Painting as Inspiration for Garden Design by Gordon Hayward.  For a more in-depth coverage of gardens as they relate to art and artists try The Garden:  A History in Landscape and Art by Fillippo Pizzoni and Dumbarton Oaks: Garden into Art by Susan Tamulevich.  Any or all of these books would set the stage for the beautifully illustrated Bold Visions for the Garden: Basics, Magic & Inspiration by Richard Hartlage or the lush Art of Flower & Garden Photography by Clive Nichols. Continue reading “Imagining The Garden”

Northwest Flower & Garden Show, 2009

It’s that time of year again.

nw-flower-and-garden-show1Like thousands of other gardeners, I have eagerly awaited the Northwest Flower & Garden Show.  This huge annual February event at the Convention Center is always a welcome chance to experience the joys of gardening while the ground outside is still frozen.  This year’s theme is “Sustainable Spaces. Beautiful Places.”  Many of the display gardens and free seminars will feature ideas to promote gardening techniques that are environmentally friendly. 

Not only has the Show inspired gardeners for over twenty years, it has also been the annual event that has drawn us together.  Sadly, the 2009 Show Continue reading “Northwest Flower & Garden Show, 2009”

A shed of one’s own

My husband and I have decided we need separate rooms. For more than a decade, we’ve shared a home “office” that hasn’t worked well for either of us. There’s no room for flat files for him, nor is there the quiet retreat I crave for writing. I look longingly at our friend John’s backyard music studio and our neighbor’s tiny garage-turned-dance studio. I find myself eyeing our garden shed and our son’s long-abandoned tree house with an “I wonder if …” sense of hope. Serendipitously, this was all on my mind when I stumbled across Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways by Debra Prinzing in a Library display.

I am now convinced that I need a shed of my own, and I’ll take any of the Continue reading “A shed of one’s own”

Before Autumn Leaves

Before autumn leaves, settle down into a bounty of words, sights and sounds that crackle with the color and energy of the season.  Then, take a few moments to take in an eclectic array of books and CDs that’ll bring an extra spark to warm the chill heading up that frosty hill.

Let’s start with some comfort food to get us in the mood for heartier matters.  The Taste of the Season: Inspired Recipes for Fall and Winter by Diane Rossen Worthington includes such treats as Autumn Salad with Persimmons and Pomegranates and Autumn Noodle and Rice.  Peter Kerr’s Viva Mallorca!:  One Mallorcan Autumn continues to chronicle the jazz musician and farmer’s family life on their island fruit farm.  Autumn Rhythm:  Musings on Time, Tide, Aging, Dying and Such Biz by Richard Meltzer is not for the “faint of eye.”  From its cover to the last page you are in for one wild ride. For a less revved up reading experience try Autumn Beguiles the Fatalist by Michael Foley.  Foley beguiles his readers with poems titled to fit a season’s “Dappled Things” and Continue reading “Before Autumn Leaves”

Spending the afternoon in a Japanese Garden

Seattle is a city of garden aficionados, so it is fitting that we have one of the best Japanese gardens outside of Japan. With sweeping vistas and decades-old plantings tended with exquisite care, the Seattle Japanese Garden is a spot of meditative beauty.

It is also host to a variety of festive events. If you are curious to hear Japanese music on the evocative string instruments the koto and shakuhachi, you will want to visit on Sundays until October 26, between 1 and 3 p.m., to hear Duo En play (weather permitting). October 12 is Continue reading “Spending the afternoon in a Japanese Garden”