The Inspired Garden
Twenty-four Artists Share Their Vision
- Photography by: Nance Trueworthy
1) Why is an artist’s garden especially fertile ground for exciting garden design?
Artists seem to think first about what works visually - then they find the materials that make it happen. They design their gardens with form, texture and color – in some cases the actual plants are secondary – they serve the purpose of adding the right element in the right place.
2) In The Inspired Garden, you note that artists are also inclined to break classic gardening “rules.” Why is this particularly exciting to you as a garden writer?
I’ve been involved in art all my life but came to gardening late so I get a kick out of defying gardening rules in my own yard. It was great fun to see these artists do it with such great results. I think success in their art has given them confidence in their ability to make something beautiful from whatever raw material they choose.
3) How might the breaking of those gardening “rules” be inspirational to readers of your book?
I hope it encourages readers to experiment: choose colors that are supposed to clash – or no color but green (who says a garden has to include flowers?) Plant tropicals as annuals right in the garden bed or cover the house in vines. Design a formal garden in the country or a cottage garden on a city rooftop. A garden is supposed to make you happy so do it any way you like!
4) Naturally, many artists actually bring their own or other artists’s works, such as statuary, into their garden plots. Can you point to two gardens in your book where this is done with particularly eye-catching effect?
Penelope Manzella’s gardens on the water in Barrington, RI are built as a showplace for her magnificent bronze and terra cotta sculptures. She has managed to mix formal elements, such as sculpted hedges and brick courtyards with her distinctive pieces by concentrating on form and structure. June LaCombe of Pownal, Maine, designed her entire property specifically to exhibit the sculpture of renowned regional artists. Flowerbed, lawns, woods and wildflower fields are punctuated throughout the year with stunning pieces. As surprising as it is to see a work in stone or steel rising from a field of tall grasses, they seem to belong to the site.
THE INSPIRED GARDEN offers a tour of 24 private gardens in New England while offering eye-opening interviews with the artists who designed them. Lavishly illustrated with photographs by Nance Trueworthy, the volume is a visual delight. It is also highly inspirational and eminently informative—an exciting lesson on how artistic principles underlay garden design just as much as they do sculpture, painting, mosaic, or other arts.
Judy Paolini is a principal partner at Thibault Paolini Design Associates, an integrated product development, graphic design, and branding firm that specializes in consumer products. She lives on Long Island in Casco Bay, on the outskirts of Portland, Maine.
Nance Trueworthy's photographs grace four Down East books: Maine’s Casco Bay Islands: A Guide; A Seat on the Shore: Quietly Admiring the Maine Coast; Down the Shore: Faces of Maine’s Coastal Fisheries; and Maine in Four Seasons. Her work has also appeared in Time, Sports Illustrated, and Newsweek, in the Smithsonian’s “Planet Ocean” exhibit, in DK Publishing’s America 24/7 book series, and in other books.
Hardcover, 160 pages, 204 color photographs, 10" x 8.5", $35 CLICK HERE to purchase this bookBuy The Inspired Garden Now
- Photography by: Nance Trueworthy