Inspiration (to be influenced or moved by) comes from many different places sights and feelings. Images evoked from these can be turned into anything we put our minds to creating.
I found inspiration in abundance when I attended the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle a few weeks ago. The aisles were full of interesting garden wears and feature garden displays. I saw a varied array of bubbling water features, garden gazebos, and archways. Brightly colored perennial borders led me to secluded reading retreats or elaborate entertaining areas. My camera worked overtime capturing as many images as I could. And when I scrolled through my photos I visualized the possibilities for a feature garden. From these different ideas I began pulling images that soon developed into a concept for that next fabulous back yard retreat.
I attended several seminars, my favorites being “The Human Garden” by Jamie Durie of HGTV,” Gardening With Conifers” by Richard Bittner and “The Secrets of Combining Plants” by Steven Aitken of Fine Gardening magazine. The hour long seminars were filled with lots of constructive and practical ideas mixed with humorous stories and vibrant pictures. Question and answer opportunities allowed the audience to participate and answer that most commonly asked question “how do I get my garden space to look like that”. Book signings by the speakers gave another moment to connect with these knowledgeable individuals. All left me visualizing fantastic possibilities.
For those who don’t have the opportunity to attend such a show, inspiration can come from any number of other forms. Many glossy garden magazines containing plant information, garden design and many other helpful articles are available on newsstands every month. There is an endless library of hardcover and soft cover books that are available at any price point and there is something for every type of gardener out there. A stroll through nature can afford an amazing canvas of ideas. I make sure to take every opportunity to hike in every season. This allows me a very different perceptive whether in the snows of winter amongst the fabulous fall colors or basking in the heat of a summer day or stumbling upon the newly emerging tender spring plants. Pay close attention to what Mother Nature offers in the way of trees, shrubs or small unusual plants like mushrooms and wildflowers. This often gives me the inspiration of a shape or color needed for a garden plant. I bring my camera, a sketch pad to capture these images or a notepad and pen to write down ideas not captured by my camera. Keeping a portfolio of photos, magazines articles and written notes helps to organize these ideas.
A good idea cannot be forced. It can come to you at the most unexpected moment. Even a treasure pot or funky chair can begin the inception of an idea.
I have drawn my inspiration from all of these forms at one time or another and delight in putting a plan together and seeing it to its completion.
Betty Drover operates a local garden business and shares this space with business partner Patti Siddall every other Friday. Contact: 250-364-1005