Painting with plants

 

In the week that the colourfest that is Chelsea Flower Show is filling our tv screens, its seems appropriate to wax lyrical about my new love – gardening!  For almost a decade, I’ve made do with (at best) a scruffy turf-patch and (at worst) an overgrown bomb-site as a “garden”, although the plan to “do something about it” has been cooking on the slowburner for years.  Two years ago, the new fence went up and the horrible, thorny shrubs (mainly pyracantha) were completely removed, the out-of-keeping cordyline australis taken out.

Last year, the long hard slog (having come up with a working design) of reshaping the borders and digging in tonnes of manure took up most of the summer months.  This year, finally, I got to “play” with my blank canvas, planning schemes of colour, texture and scent to fill its empty spaces and making the most of its limited dimensions by introducing illusions of depth, “secret” seating areas and complimentary structures of willow, wood, stone and metal to complete the picture.

After weeks of writing lists and sourcing plants, and with a certain amount of impatience brewing, I finally set to work in the spring of this year and found – to my joy – that gardening has much of the same appeal as painting; its all colour and composition, only working in the 3D and with more requirement to be able to imagine the finished result as this is generally not instantaneous but requires faith and patience.  I have also found that kneeling in the dirt and spending long hours planting, structuring and weeding takes me to a similar place as my painting, where I become lost in – not thoughts – rather “the zone” and come away feeling zen-like and calm, like I’ve had hours of the most productive therapy possible.

After all that – and as if that wasn’t enough – the most delicious part is yet to come, when plants tentatively positioned fill out, grow tall and hardy and then come into bloom, bringing all the satisfaction of feeling vindicated in decisions to place that over there, this over here, those two plants next to each other and so on. Already the garden has attained a certain maturity as tulips have been replaced by aliums and poppies and the sheer fullness of the border makes it look as though plants have been here forever.

The feeling that the garden has become another room, part of the house, or a continuation of it, is one of the best outcomes and the sheer enjoyment of strolling around just noticing the changes is priceless (quite aside from the daily “therapy” I am still getting as I spend time weeding and watering, tying things up and, yes, fighting off attacks of aphids and caterpillars).  Finally, it would seem, I have found somewhere within myself the family gardening gene; but it occurs to me its not an entirely new development, its just painting with plants!

About Helen White

Helen White is a full-time professional artist (painting moments of everyday radiance in oil on canvas), a photographer, product designer and published writer with several blogs, on various topics, to her name. Light on Art is her art-related blog sharing recent artworks and inspiration.Living Your Whole Life is a health and lifestyle blog sharing all the many highlights of learning how to transform your health and wellbeing (spiralling out of ten years recovering from fibromyalgia). Spinning the Light is a very broad-based platform of self-discovery where she explores the everyday alchemy that is available to all beings just as soon as they open up to life's fullest potential.Helen White Photography is a portal for sharing her Fine Art photographs which are available as Limited Edition prints.
This entry was posted in Gardens & gardening, Health & wellbeing, Nature, Painting, Photography and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Please comment on what I have shared and follow me if you enjoyed it!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s