I am bewitched by the beauty around me; I want to record it.

Gardens

Gardens

Besides being an obsessed painter, I am a gardener possessed. At our home in Atlanta I created an unforgettable garden, the kind people would visit simply to revel in. We are proud that it has been the focus of numerous magazine articles and garden tours, and is widely recognized as one of the most important private gardens in the Southeast.

For the 28 years, until Don and I decided to trade the home and garden that we had designed and so loved for the challenge of remodeling a condominium in the city, the garden was not just a source of great enjoyment for us but a living canvas that provided fodder for a garden painting most any time.

I realized early on that many of the same principles apply to both gardening and painting. In both I concentrate on negative and positive spaces, putting warm next to cool, creating triangles, and placing a focal point. Attention to the three C’s—composition, color and contrast—is critically important in each of these related endeavors.

Presently, here in Provence we have 3 1/2 hectares of glorious gardens situated in the Luberon valley with the most incredibly rich soil. It’s like mania from heaven to garden here. OR  I am having a heyday playing in the alkaline soil. Since moving here, I have become a novice gardener again… learning what plants love the alkaline soil here. Remarkably, all the plants that regularly died (or looked so puny) in our garden in Atlanta just thrive here… lavender, rosemary, dianthus, euphorbia, thyme, etc. Now I know why! They hate getting watered and love a sweet soil.

The good news is that here we live in a valley where the River Durance has overflowed for centuries and deposited all this good dirt right at my doorstep! Anything roots in it!! So I am now an expert in rooting rosemary, lavender, euphorbia, sage, thyme and more. And irises grow boundlessly. What more could a gardener ask?

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