Thursday, May 17, 2012

England is A Garden

The words are from a poem by Rudyard Kipling, and how true they are. A recent day spent in my own garden inspired me to reflections on England. It was a gray drizzley day, (is that a word even?) and as I worked in between the soft showers all day long, I imagined I was gardening in England, where I'm sure such a damp day is the norm for a day in May.

This beautiful book is one of the treasures that I found in England, so unique in the way the artist combined sketches of  architecture in pencil with watercolor illustrations  of flowers 

Inspired by the book, I decided to try the technique to illustrate my gazebo and the peonies 
 blooming nearby.

Some talismans that keep the English gardens always close  ..
my trugs, terra cotta pots and fancies, and of course my water cans.  The large conservatory can I hand-carried on board the plane on my return flight - much to the amusement of my fellow travelers.

In addition to tangible inspirations, I returned from 
England with visions of cottage gardens, stone walls, wattle fences, dovecotes, thyme benches, and of course masses of climbing, rambling roses. 

I immediately set about transforming my own spaces and places to channel the gardens of England.  Some of these endeavors were successful, some were not - another wonderful learning experience from nature.  The climate in the Midwest is NOT the same as the climate in England - and that single factor does make a difference.

This little cottage became the setting for a Beatrix Potter Garden, inspired by the little books and planted with many of the vegetables and herbs mentioned in the stories of Peter, Benjamin, Jemima Puddleduck, and Jeremy Fisher.

staddle stone  (looks like a mushroom!),  a stone trough with a burrowing hedgehog , and the majestic spires of foxglove all contribute to the feeling.

Got most of what I need for a cottage garden - just missing those chickens - I'm not giving up on that one yet - stay tuned 

Well worn Wellies

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