Welcome friends...thanks for coming by. We're seeking beauty in all of creation... in our faith and our families; our art and our music; our crafts and kitchens, and even in our own backyard. We'll share a poem or a recipe, a picture or a memory; maybe a dream of how we wish our life could be. And though we acknowledge that the world can be harsh, we're keeping it pleasant in our little corner; endeavoring to keep the words from the Book of all Books: ...Whatsoever things are lovely; think on these things.

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Photo: Bee and thistle: Taken high in the Cascade Mountains where there is a bee buzzing on every thistle. by Debora Rorvig

Monday, August 5, 2013

Things that bear repeating...

There is a street in my hometown that is lined with silver cottonwood trees. When the wind blows the leaves flitter back and forth;  catching the light...shimmering like those silver spinner fishing lures that hubby uses when trolling on Lake Samish. And I learned as a child that if you lie beneath cottonwood trees on windy days, they whisper to you. They say 'shiweeeeeeeee, shiweeeeeee, shiweeeeeeeeeee...'
By the way, did you know that there is a discipline of gardening that incorporates the elements of  sound? Some examples; planting ornamental grasses and trees whose leaves will rustle when the wind blows through them;  adding water fountains that gurgle or using chains as downspouts that drip, drip, drip into rainbarrels or ceramic pots. With a little ingenuity you can even add elements that  attract birds and frogs, and crickets...don't you just love listening to frogs and crickets in the night-time?  Why even the gritty sound of gravel  beneath your feet on a path; or the crackling of autumn  leaves or little twigs, all of these things add to the 'music' of your garden. But I digress. However, in case you're interested, here's a little link to get your creative fire's kindled:  http://gardening.about.com/od/gardendesign/ss/Sound-In-The-Garden.htm 
Back to the cottonwoods. One day I was looking at this row of cottonwoods and wondering, "What is it that is so pleasing to me about this simple row of trees---besides all the rustling and shimmering.

The answer came to me in one word...repetition. I'll say it again, repetition.
Credit: Road Surrounded by Trees by Michael Yamashita for National Geographic
Repetition in landscape is simple. Peaceful. Orderly.
It fills that part in us that needs continuity and predictability.
It's like coming home after spending a week in Vegas. Yes, the glamour and chaos were great fun, but oh how nice to sleep in your own bed. To curl up on your sofa with a magazine and sip tea.
Credit: Lynn Hunt for Christian Science Monitor
This row of blue hydrangea is like a simple strand of pearls. Elegant. Timeless. Effortless.
Gardening doesn't have to be elaborate. I know...we all love to look at those books of the quintessential cottage garden-loaded to the hilt with every imaginable type of bloom. Which, if you have the time and expertise, is fabulous. I love those kinds of gardens. In other people's yards. I've come to want need something simpler. Unfussy. Like this...
This is the edge of my patio. A boxwood hedge backdrop with a row of red geraniums. Not much work here, but I think it's beautiful.  The other side of that hedge is just a big sprawling lawn with lots of fir trees, some rhodys and hosta. And my herb garden. This fall when the geraniums come out I'll plant some flashy tulip bulbs in their place for spring.

Repetition can be as simple or elaborate as you wish...

Credit: Interior New York

Credit: Dofaso.com
Some things do bear repeating. Like pumpkins along a walkway... 


Elephant's Child said...

Oh my. I love gardens - all of them. And they all have charm. I tend to the chaotic cottage myself but appreciate the work and the artistry in simpler gardens too. And, just now, excitement is building on this side of the world. There are bulbs bursting from the ground and every day more burst into bloom. Joy.

Debora said...

And I am so looking forward to seeing pics of those hundreds of bulbs you have planted! So fun that we have opposite seasons so we can enjoy one another's gardens all year long!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Yes, yes, YES! You're absolutely right. I'd never really thought about it before, but it's quite clear in all of your pics how soothing the repetition is.

You missed the post I did a little bit ago about our visit to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. They have a fascinating mosaiculture exhibit going on there now, and with your obvious love of gardens, I bet you'd love it.

Debora said...

Susan, I read that piece, but neglected to look at the Youtube part until today. It's awe-inspiring! I loved the shepherd with his sheep the best...followed by the horses next to the waterfall that sounds like horses running. So beautiful!

Bookie said...

I had never thought of some of those sounds like the swishing grasses...do love cottonwoods. Lovely pictures too....


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