Gardening for creative people.

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Gardening for Artists and Writers

Gardening is a vast subject area and we would need a whole website devoted to gardening alone to cover even part of it. However, bearing in mind our site mission to provide useful information and resources for artists and writers, we have selected some helpful sources below that we feel should aid artists and writers in their work. To this end we have categorized our sources into the following three sections:

Garden Design
Perhaps the most obviously creative section of our gardening resources, here we provide some helpful sources for garden design ideas and methods.

Inspirational Plants
All plants could be said to be inspirational, at least to someone somewhere, so this could be potentially be an unending section! Consequently personal taste has to come into this. Therefore we have concentrated here on plants that have either been inspirational in some shape or form to the editors of this page, or plants that have recently become fashionable (I know, we shouldn't be followers of fashion, but fiction writers and commercial artists, for example, often have to produce work that is to some extent or another, 'fashionable').

Gardening News
Again on the idea of providing fashionable plants or gardening ideas which commercial artists and writers may find useful in their work, here is a selection of the latest news items. Of course this is bound to be a mixed bag, with greater or lesser use to say, plant artists and garden writers, but at least it changes regularly. So check back often.

Garden Design

Gardening Software .com
Garden design and home design software, etc. Well software isn't usually considered the best way to go in creative projects, however, software does have a place. It's a tool, just like any other tool, and if it can speed up a design or creative task while not affecting the outcome then it should be seen as a valuable aid to creativity. After all, you wouldn't find many writers now who would object to using a computer to produce their work, whereas only ten years ago the idea would have been abhorrent to many, if not most.

Gardening Search Engine .com
A search engine and directory dedicated to gardening in all its forms. This is a useful site for finding stuff to do with garden design in particular, so below we have detailed some links to specific parts of this site.

Boundaries and Rooms in your Garden
This page discusses the best ways to make boundaries and rooms in your garden. It looks at ways to separate off sections of your garden and what materials to use to achieve this, such as lattice work, natural drystone walls and arbors. It's a starting point for ideas, an introduction for those new to the concept of breaking up a garden into separate 'rooms'. Many famous English gardens, by the way, make good use of this concept.

Pumpkin Sculptures
A bit of fun here for the kids of artists and writers. Pumpkin sculptures, yes I know, but we have to encourage creativity in our children to bring up the next generation of Dowse artists and writers :-)

Japanese Garden Lighting
Here's a different way to get inspiration from your garden -- change the way it looks after dark. Lighting really can make a huge difference in this respect, but Japanese lighting is a subset of this, with its own distinctive aspects, as this introductory article reveals.

Garden Decor
'Garden Decor' sounds a rather odd phrase to my ear, but it's borrowed from the phrase 'home decor'. This article is an introduction to the idea that the garden can be treated as an extension of the hoem, and designed for pleasure and beauty accordingly. Both artists and writers could apply this approach to their own gardens. They could even provide a place to work in their own gardens by applying the ideas in this article on canvas gazebos.

Outdoor Entertaining
Writers and Artists all too often work alone, and it's easy therefore to lose perspective, not to mention a lack of sharing ideas. Therefore we at dowse thoroughly recommend the ideas here on creating an inspiring garden area specifically for entertaining your friends. It is, after all, through sharing ideas and experiences that some of the greatest artistic works have come about.


Inspirational Plants

Ginger Lilies
Ginger lilies are more popular now than ever before, particularly in the UK, where the desire for a more tropical-looking garden, inspired by cheaper over-seas travel and better worldwide communication perhaps, has led to gardeners making good use of this 'new' plant. Of course, gardeners in warmer climes have known and grown these beautiful plants for many years and are well aware of the vast number of species and varieties available. The link above is to a commercial site, but it is a good source of information and images of Ginger Lilies.

Juniper Trees
Juniper Trees are such versatile plants, bringing a sense of wilderness and permanence to a garden. Here's a new site setting out to explore the use of junipers in the garden.

The Heather Society
Heathers are inspirational to those who love the moors and mountains of Britain in particular. Here's a link to the site of the UK heather society.

Heathers at A Cottage on the Moss
More heathers and moorland plants for those inspired by them, like me. This book is about a cottage, its garden and its surrounding landscape in the English Peak District. It's an autobiographical work by Lawrence Dyer that charts the new life he and his wife embark upon in an "isolated stone cottage with no mains water, invaded by mice, rats and swarms of insects, a place where giant snowdrifts sever the electricity supply and all connections with the outside world..." Read about their heather garden in particular, as well as Dyer's descriptions of the landscape and its plants.

Growing Orchids in Greenhouses
Orchids are, of course, among the most exotic of plants and the most beautiful for artwork. Perhaps because of this many people believe they are difficult to grow. Some types are, but many are not. Here is an introductory article on just how easy it is to grow orchids in your greenhouse. I know, because I've done it myself, which has dispelled the feeling I had before that they were 'difficult plants'.

Monet's Giverny Garden
Art prints of Claude Monet's garden, revealing his famous treatment of his own lily ponds and lake, as well as his interpretation of the herbaceous borders he grew.

Natural gardens
Natural gardens listings and resources: Natural gardens on the net. There may be something of interest here, but it is not an extensive site.

Plant an Herb Garden of Your Own
Plant your own herb garden. This site is instructional in planting herb gardens in ordinary backyards.

Claude Monet Information
Monet Information.
More on Claude Monet and his at-the-time extraordinary style of painting the plants and gardens he knew.

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