100 SECONDS – The Most Beautiful Masterpiece 1/31/21

Creating a garden is a form of love, love for beauty and the gifts of the natural world. Gardening and growing your own food are activities that make us part of the sacred space of plants. Only outdoors, do I find revitalization and serenity, despite the tempest that rages around us.

My garden has distinct rooms to be in, to look into, to look out of from the many glass doors and windows of my interior rooms. Each part leads the eye on a journey of styles, colors, and scents. In each, I pause and smile, absorbing its jewel-like, transient moments.

A garden is both autobiography and art. My young fruit trees, planted bare root, are a personal statement of hope and replenishment, though I may never see their maturity. And the flowers and shrubs reflect my love of Monet, his home in Giverny, and Provence.

As Monet, the great artist and gardener, observed: “I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers. My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece.”

I was overwhelmed every time I walked into the white oval room at the Orangerie Museum in Paris that holds the canvases of Claude Monet’s Nymphéas. A total of eight panels, an infinity of color and light, where I lost myself in the profundity of lilies, pendulant willows, and water, both reflecting and reflection. I had to see his home and gardens in Giverny – his masterpiece of place.

At Giverny, I wandered for hours, learning a new language, a way of seeing, understanding what Monet meant by saying “for me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at every moment; but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life – the light and the air which vary continually. For me, it is only the surrounding atmosphere which gives subjects their true value.”

I vowed to create my garden as a continual activity of nourishment and visualizing color, form, and texture. My own bit of Giverny, my own joy and affirmation at last.

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