Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Enchantment

I learned to make art in a garden.  It was one of those moments that you have when you know that at that place and at that time you feel totally alive and present.  I was in high school and taking an art class at the local art museum.  We were sent outdoors to the Rose Garden to draw for the afternoon.  I sat on a cement bench between two formal boxwood hedges, each about 12 feet high, 8 feet wide and 20 feet long running parallel to one another.

There was something magical for me in that space.  I couldn't then nor can I now put a name to what I felt.  It was as if the world at that moment was made just for me to view and enjoy.  Every one of my senses seemed in tune with the beauty of that Garden.  A garden thought of, conceived, planned , executed and groomed just for its pure beauty.   There was something so freeing in that.  As if Beauty were a basic element of the Earth; a fifth dimension that I had discovered.  My love affair with gardens has never diminished.

This past week I spent an afternoon at the Winterthur Enchanted Woods Garden with my  son and his family.  Winterthur is an estate of the du Pont family and was a working farm.  Part of the large natural landscaped garden is the Enchanted Woods where not only are the plants nurtured, but also the imagination,  There are lovely low iron gates with wind chimes that ring when the gates open and close.  Diminutive thatched huts complete with hand carved wooden chairs dedicated to the births of different du Pont children.  Hearths ornamented with broken cement spindles and rails set above into the walls of stone.  Windows carved out at the waist height of a two-year-old.  A witch's cauldron sitting near the laid fireplace waiting for the entrance of a Hansel and Gretel.

Winterthur Enchanted Garden Cottage


Across from the diminutive house is a walking bridge where hand pumped water feeds a trough that runs into the stream.  A cast bronze turtle family ambles along at its edge.  The cobblestone courtyard leads on to another hut carved from a hollowed out tree.  Hand forged wrought iron fixings complement the quirky door incised from the tree.The door is continually propped open ready to receive visitors who need to sit back and gaze across to the Faerie House.
Winterthur Thatched Tree Hut

Faerie Circle Inscribed "Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Life is but a Dream." on the Walking Stones
So many delights in the Garden keep you wanting to follow the Serpentine path laid into the brick path.    Where you will find ......
Serpentine Path

A cosy spot of nesting....
People sized Nest


A Troll sized Bridge....



A misty Faerie Ring....




And a wee grandson who finds that a redwood tree must be Jack's Beanstalk.


                                  
                                     Photo courtesy of Rachel's SnapWidget wizardry. solandrachel


Enchant yourself.  
Look for a path that leads you into a garden.  Lose yourself in a moment of Beauty, where you don't have to be anything but yourself or do anything but take it all in.  Wonder, walk, muse, dream.  


Gift yourself with Beauty.