“Orangeola & Kotoji Abstract” Heatherwood Japanese Garden
Today is a very special day full of sweet and happy memories of the past. Many times we spent the day walking through gardens around the areas where we lived. On our adventures, we were always keeping our eyes and mind open to observe the beauty surrounding us, both natural and man-made. We collected ideas on what we could bring home to our own garden.
Other years we would explore various garden centers and purchase new additions for our garden. We couldn’t wait to plant the new acquisitions. Here at Heatherwood, I have been able to draw on these previous experiences to develop a Japanese-influenced garden in part of our property. Strolling through Heatherwood takes me back to prior wonderful memories and stimulates me to enjoy the present and look forward to bright future days.
Heatherwood continues to give up something new and interesting every time we stroll around the garden. Little elements of nature abound at every turn. These gifts are for the taking. I just need to recognize them and add a little creativity.
“Impressionistic Variegated Redtwig Dogwood” Heatherwood Spring
As I stroll around Heatherwood, I am constantly on the alert for those little vignettes that catch my eye. For this shaded scene, I first noticed contrasting blue and green colors. Looking closer, the contrasting textures of grasses, the variegated redtwig dogwood, and the background blue spruce add to the interest. Reviewing the image on my computer, I thought that it would be interesting to view it as a painting. I added an impressionistic flair to achieve this image.
Nothing is perfect … nothing is permanent … nothing is complete. Wabi-sabi is a characteristic concept of our Heatherwood garden. I find beauty in every aspect of imperfection throughout our garden. This spent rose was a beautiful red flower in its prime. The summer flower’s fleeting beauty transitioned to these stems and rose hips in the fall and winter. In nature the hips would release the seeds to the ground. Its life is incomplete as the seeds create new plants.
I admire the beauty of this rose stalk and hips every day as I sit and read and look out our family room window. They fascinate me. I do not have the heart or desire to prune the winter roses to make them look neat. I just simply enjoy them as they are. There is plenty of time to prune the roses before the spring growth.
Sometimes it feels good to get away from reality and let the imagination flow. Looking through some macro images I took yesterday I wondered what would happen if I would put a couple of ground cover photos together. I picked a close-up of a clump of blue fescue and a red-colored ice plant. One had a fine texture, one a smooth course texture. One was blue, one was red. I made a multi-image composite in Photoshop and was pleased with the results. I still felt playful and decided to add an impressionistic overlay patterned after Georgia O’Keefe … voila, the above image appeared. Am I creative or crazy? Maybe a little of both?
Strolling in our garden on a crisp frosty morning, I looked down and saw an interesting pattern on the ground. It reminded me of French tapestry wall coverings I had seen on some of the old historic homes on the East Coast. I took a little artistic liberty and enhanced the image with Topaz Impression to create this final image. Squint your eyes and think of some of those wall paper covered walls on those wonderful early 19th century historic homes.
For reference, below is the base image prior to adding the Topaz enhancement.
It’s time to come back home and add a couple more images from our Heatherwood garden. I used to think thistles were just weeds, but we decided to plant a couple of different varieties in our meadow. This one is planted between white daisies and yellow yarrow. It provides a nice contrast in the meadow. With the hot temperatures (>100 degrees) these thistles have quickly bloomed then lost their color. To accentuate the artistic flair of the thistles, I added a little Georgia O’Keeffe impressionism to it.
As the temperatures hover in the high 90’s, our new meadow continues to display a variety of color. I long to be able to get our among the flowers and become one with my camera and the beautiful blooms. For the next several weeks, I will need to be content with viewing alongside and from above. Patience is not one of my strongest virtues.