Friday, February 22, 2008

Dreamy gardens

I walk in the garden, I look at the flowers and shrubs and trees and discover in them an exquisiteness of contour, a vitality of edge, or a vigor of spring, as well as an infinite variety of color that no artifact I have seen in the last sixty years can rival... each day, as I look, I wonder where my eyes were yesterday. -Bernard Berenson

I spent some time in the library this week to look for books with good reference images of plants, trees, shrubbery ("Bring me a shwubbery!"). To daydream about a future garden. Or to paint. But mostly to daydream (you can imagine this, yes?). Flipping through, I realized that I have gardening books with great photos. And then I realized that I have plenty of really super images (or, nice images of super memories) from a class I took in school. It was an elective, The History of Gardens. There were lectures, but the field trips were the real treat. We toured a number of local Southern California gardens, both private and public. It was just fantastic.

The Lummis Home / El Alisal
The Getty
Huntington Library
Norton Simon
Hannah Carter Japanese Garden

One assignment of the class was to keep a garden notebook, with images, trimmings, thoughts from the gardens and notes on several of our design assignments. I found my notebook and flipped through the pictures, thinking, daydreamily, "Oh, now these are what I should paint."

I managed to find and salvage the digital photo files from archive CDs and lookit, it’s just so much fun and so much from a bright sunny Southern California summer, that I had to share.

Drat! They're so small here!
Click here
for the Flickr photo set.

Sending dreamy thoughts of the first bursts of color of spring and the warmth of summer to you all. Have a great weekend. xox -w


Roma said...

Kindling old memories are fun, made only better through pictures and notes. I hope we will be seeing some paintings or drawings based on this excursion down memory lane!

Desiree said...

Great pictures. I hope everything is going good with you, maybe this summer you could come out and spend a day with Marta and I by the pool, basking in the sun and drinking sangria. We could sketch too! I gave you an award on my blog, check it out.

Toni said...

Gardens are fun and I hope you get to plan and plant and play in yours this summer.

Plain Jane said...

it really feels like spring here, in San Diego. Walked today on a new trail (to me) where the fires had burned tall oaks and eucalyptus, but where green green clover and purple wildflowers were now growing. A running stream and ducks too. xoxoox

Wendee said...

Thanks everyone.

@Roma - Yes, I can tell that the photos (and it just becoming more and more spring) will inspire paintings or drawings. Been busy (and alternatingly, tired), but it's all been marinating in there ... (you know what I mean).

@Desiree - Thanks for the award! What a nice surprise! Sangria, basking in the sun, by the pool? Sketching? With you'n'Marta? Are you kidding me? I'm SO there!

@Toni - I was used to being able to plan a bigger garden and am having to think in terms of just a few pots here. It's a garden all the same, though. I think it'll force me to think it through much more critically (I'm seeing this as a good exercise), since there's so little space ... and existing inhabitants (the guy, and his plants) to coordinate with..

@PJane - yep, here too. A friend from NYC who'd visited SoCal during the horrendous fires last fall asked how the region was recovering. Nature is so resilient; it's good to hear that spring is ushering in the new there. And a running stream and ducks, too? Very cool. xox.