Gardens, Gardens, Gardens!

I have been going to sketch in a garden at least once a week for a few weeks now. What a joy and wonder it is to see the earth come alive in all its spring splendor in a garden! I’m not sure there is anything else quite so grand as to sit and soak in the color, beauty and energy that emanates from living, growing plants and trees.

Tulip Dance. Available for purchase. Watercolor, Oil Pastel. 9″x12″.

Our own Ciener Botanical Gardens are always inspiring to me! Drawn to the tulips and daffodils of late, I can’t get enough of the joy of their fun shapes- the trumpeting daffodils and the wavy curl of tulip leaves.

Watermill at Bicentennial Gardens Greensboro. Drawn on site with Brush Pen, Watercolor in Sketchbook.

I had been to Greensboro’s Tanger Centennial Gardens years ago, but recently revisiting this lovely garden was such delight! I know I will revisit soon to capture more of its grounds and blooming plants among the shapely trees. The neighboring Bog Garden is lovely as well. I was especially drawn to the tangled and swampy areas. So much to draw in this pair of gardens.

Drawn from photo taken at the Greensboro Arboretum. Brush pen, watercolor, colored pencils, oil pastel in sketchbook.

Last week I went with a friend to the Greensboro Arboretum and what a treasure that large tract of land is! I couldn’t believe that nestled down in the city of Greensboro, are all of these fabulous gardens. Though I could hear the highway right next to us, it felt as if we were miles away in a lush, gently rolling landscape with arbors and bridges, towering trees and gorgeous flowering shrubs and plants. The central arbored walkway was truly amazing. I felt as if we were entering an enchanted wood, though it was only vines trained to cover a long walkway. “Magical” kept popping in to my head as we walked slowly through, taking it all in.

Drawn on site at the Greensboro Arboretum. Brush Pen, watercolor, oil pastel in sketchbook.

My friend Mary and I are planning to visit as many gardens as we can, and to sit and sketch in each one. But perhaps the highlight of all of these gardens has been to visit and draw in Mary’s garden. She is a Master Gardener who has lovingly tended and curated her entire yard surrounding their home in Kernersville. I so enjoy sitting there with my sketchbook in my lap tracing the contours of flowers and benches, trees and trellis. I will share more of Mary’s garden soon.

Drawn on site in Mary’s Garden. Brush Pen, watercolor, oil pastel in sketchbook.

I must away to my drawing table where a stack of drawings made in Gardens await paint. I like to simply draw and be present while I’m in the Garden and then return home to add color based on my memory of the scene and the feelings I had while being there. If it is possible to translate “joy” into pens and paints, then that is my mission. Joy, joy, joy in the garden of life. I’m glad you are coming along with me…there will be so much more to share with you!

P.S. Do you have a favorite garden you have visited? If so, where is it? I’d love to visit it even if it is far away from Kernersville NC. 🙂

4 thoughts on “Gardens, Gardens, Gardens!

  1. Nessie says:

    Norfolk Botanical Gardens in Virginia years ago was amazing. They have a huge rose patch, a shaded meditation/healing type place with many ferns, a more colonial section with crushed shell pathway and arbor, a japanese garden, a long wide grass patch with stone statues, a butterfly pavilion, etc. It’s huge and has so much variety. That year, they had a playful theme of storybook houses sprinkled throughout the outer edges of the whole place. It was incredible!

    I’ve also had great luck at college gardens, such as JMU and VA Tech campuses. I enjoy those knowing schools are making a new generation of gardeners and landscapers yearly. The gardens near Hershey Park are lovely, too. Lots of older growth trees, playful additions such as Wind in the WIllows statuary, when I went.

    • Jennifer Edwards says:

      Wow! I may have to make a trek to Virginia for this garden! Sounds Amazing! And thank you for the heads up about university gardens. I am definitely going to visit the Sarah P. Duke Gardens near Duke University. Thanks for commenting!

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