Category Archives: Gardens & gardening

All matters relating to gardening and garden design, also inspiration from the garden for my painting and photography.

Being the unpruned tree

We should make room for some wildness in our gardens; it keeps us mindfully connected to the earth and it leads to interesting, surprising and oh-so important new experiences. Some pruning, here and there, asking the garden what it needs, can be helpful; yes, but there is no place for dubiously motivated shears in the next phase of our human adventure. Some would have us all as neatly trimmed and uniform as a garden made up of identical topiary but there’s a whole other tree that we’ve forgotten about (you could call it a Tree of Life); one that is so vast and other-dimensional (though ever-present) that many have fogotten how to look up and see it there… Continue reading

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The yin-yang garden

This is all the same winter garden as experienced during a period of less than three hours, first in day and then in night. Notice how the deep dark velvets and jewel tones sing out mostly in the daytime, the … Continue reading

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Graceful journey: a Scandinavian experience

When grace happens to you, it is like a moment of poise that you just know is exactly where you were destined to be; one you will never forget and will continue to draw upon at times when life drags you back into its slip streams. Like portals between layers of space and time that tell us we are unfailingly on track, can’t even be off-track if we tried, these appointments with our own self-created destiny are powerful nodes of experience that communicate back and forth across time and space and make life feel unimaginably coherent, even in the midst of the most tragic or unexpected things happening around us. Nothing can truly shake us out of this sense of coherence once we plug into this personal journey of the heart. There is true power and strength to be found around so many unlikely street corners on such a journey through life; one which takes us far closer to the true epicentre of our own heart-maze than anything we could experience from following somebody else’s guidance on where we should be going, what we should be doing. Listen to the advice, yes…but the listen to your own inner guidance first; and take some of those detours down less trodden streets and be amazed at what shows up in some unexpected places. That’s when we realise that grace is, ultimately, an inside job and entirely portable, wherever we happen to be. From that space, we realise, place is just a matter of perspective; that the inner work is where it all happens and that, through the attitudes we adopt, we really are the true architects of our world, the creators of our own skyline view and (when we allow life to unfold for us) we are always, unfailingly, in the right place at the right time. Continue reading

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The blossom opened early…

Did the tree know something I didn’t, had it heard the starting pistol, received the signal, been slipped the secret cue that something big was underway; something that could contain itself no longer but must “out” into the light? Or had it simply felt it must take that leap of faith, be the one to demonstrate, through actions, that it dared to be all today that it had hoped to be tomorrow so that others would also believe this was possible and much more so than just through the endless repeating of words? No more waiting. No more striving. No more hoping and trekking and aiming and intending and visualising but BEING it. Did it want to manifest what it already knew to be so in its heart’s potential, to bring it out of hiding and into that light, however cautious and conditional these times still urged it to be, however much of a mixed blessing the sheer intensity of that light it was reaching out into could sometimes feel? Had it decided there was no more time left for slumbering underground, its tenderness tucked away inside dry woody branches? Continue reading

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…and then the sun burst through

For several years, I lived in an old Victorian house with a buddleia tree in the front garden. It grew thick and very tall, right up beyond the height of the bedroom above, and its leaves were darkest green but … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Art metaphor, Art technique, Consciousness & evolution, Floral art, Gardens & gardening, Life choices, Life journey, Light, Painting, Personal Development, Windows in art | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The winter garden

A garden I know so well, from a different season…and here it was, dressed up in its winter clothing. There’s something eerily magical about a sleeping garden in mid winter; you can almost sense all that latent energy pulled deep … Continue reading

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The birds

In an era when the television could be retired completely, for all I care, and when Nature provides some of the most joyful and entertaining moments of my experience, the various bird feeders placed within view of the window where … Continue reading

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“Charleston” (or, On Painting a Painter’s Garden)

I’ve waxed lyrical about Charleston before, in a much earlier post, and my most recent painting is my own tribute to a garden – indeed a place – that had a massive impact on me when I first visited it over … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Art history, Art technique, Artists, Gardens & gardening, Menu, Painting | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Nature’s cathedral

In a recent post, I discussed my new passion for painting windows and speculated that it wouldn’t be too long before I painted another one.  Well, here it is and if there is a theme in common with Florentine Window, … Continue reading

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Framed flowers in the borders

Last week was a tremendously busy one, as I prepared multiple paintings to go off to galleries – and fortunately the weather was sunny enough for me to do most of the prep outdoors in the sunshine and get some … Continue reading

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