Artists in the Garden

The many great gardens of the world, of literature and poetry, of painting and music, of religion and architecture, all make the point as clear as possible: The soul cannot thrive in the absence of a garden.”

Thomas More

Yesterday, I walked through one of my favourite gardens and watched as others wandered through the pathways, taking photos with their cell phones. There was one person writing a note, another focused on creating a sketch of a rambling rose, and yet another carefully tending a new herb garden.

Gardens have restorative power to inspire and heal, lower stress, and increase cognitive ability.

It seems that when we place our hands in the earth, our feelings of wellbeing increase, thanks to antidepressant microbes in soil that increase levels of serotonin. That sense of oneness with the beauty that comes from working in a garden allows us to explore our creative spirits.

I imagined Monet in his garden at Giverny and hearing his voice proclaiming, “My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece.”

Welcome to my new project: Artists in the Garden.

24 Comments

    1. Clanmother

      Thank you for your encouraging comments and for stopping by for a visit. I agree – the history of artists in the gardens date back to ancient times. I am looking forward to this journey back in time, too.

  1. valeriedavies

    How wonderful, I had no idea there was serontonin in the microbes in the earth… no wonder we feel wonderful when we plant… but there is also I feel, a spiritual energy we absorb when we are t ending our gardens… even the plants, the flowers and shrubs and trees somehow give and share this miracle and beauty of never-ending life and creation in our gardens…

    1. Clanmother

      I agree wholeheartedly Valerie! We belong to the earth and, in the end, we become part of the earth. I love that quote by Thich Nhat Hanh: “Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet” for it confirms that we owe our life to the soil, the air, the water. I feel a sense of oneness when I walk a garden path. It is as you said so eloquently – “never-ending life and creation in our gardens….”

    1. Clanmother

      I agree! I read a study that when gardens were introduced in “aging” facilities, the act of caring for flowers and vegetable engendered a feeling of well-being. And as you can guess increased the joy and longevity of the people who tended the gardens. So glad that you stopped by. I’m back to blogging on a more permanent basis and am enjoying reconnecting. Hugs and love coming your way.

  2. Liz

    Gorgeous! How I loved this walk around such a wonderful garden – thank you so much for sharing it with us. I can’t wait to see how your project unfolds and blooms! xxx

    1. Clanmother

      I am so glad that you joined me on my walk. Park & Tilford Garden was built on the site of an old distillery. There must be some kind of magic that was left behind because the flowers and trees seem to glow. What is most interesting is that the garden is situated in a busy shopping area. And yet, when you enter the gates, there is a silence that drowns out all the noise except the laughter of children.

      1. Liz

        I just love it when one finds a beautiful oasis like this right in the centre of a town – it is like being transported to another universe! 🙂

    1. Clanmother

      I agree wholeheartedly, Gallivanta. Whenever I feel out of sync, I find solace and refreshment in a garden walk. It brings everything into perspective and all the unnecessary angst drifts away with a gentle wind…

  3. Ms Frances

    Thank you for this lovely post. I like your choice quote from Thomas More. I did not know of the positive, nurturing, and healing things found in the soil. Maybe that is also the reason that we get such a happy, positive feeling when we work in the soil and enjoy the beauty of the flowers and grass. The photos you have included are excellent!

    1. Clanmother

      Thank you for your ongoing support and encouragement. Gardens have been in our legends and mythologies since the beginning and continue to hold symbolic meaning even in our world of speed and technology. The Garden of Eden, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Fangu Isle of the Immortals, Garden of Hesperides, Yggdrasil. Consider all of the literature devoted to Atlantis, Avalon and Shanghai-La. This is going to be an interesting project – so glad that you will be joining me on this journey.

  4. Kathleen_Vail

    I love your new project! This is perfect, too: “That sense of oneness with the beauty that comes from working in a garden allows us to explore our creative spirits.” I totally agree!

    1. Clanmother

      I am delighted that you stopped by for a visit Kathleen! Always a joy to see your comments. I have a feeling this is going to be an interesting project, especially, given our ever increasing appetite for speed and technology. So glad that you will be joining me in my meanderings.

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