Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The song of the zen gardens


And what is art where to we press
Through paint and prose and rhyme---
When nature in her nakedness
Defeats us every time? -- Rudyard Kipling

Welcome to my zen gardens. The above image is is what you first see as you approach my home near my front porch. The below image is the smaller pond next to my front porch. My husband and I built these ponds and gardens from scratch. I am the one with the ideas, the planner, the collector of rocks and statues...my husband is the muscle man, the mover, the hole digger and over all handy man.


Butterfly! These words
From my brush are
not flowers...
Only their shadows. -- Soseki

I think of gardening as an extension of one's being, something as deeply personal and intimate as writing a poem. --- Stanley Kunitz, poet

Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.

What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset. --Crowfoot

This garden is no metaphor... more a task that swallows you into yourself, earth using, as always, everything it can. --- Jan Hirshfield.
(You are now in the back of the house which faces the cliff. There is a larger pond with very large koi which we have had for 10 years now.)

The home gardener is part scientist, part artist, part philosopher, part plowman. He modifies the climate around his home. --- John R. Whiting


A garden isn't meant to be useful. It's for joy. -- Rumer Godden


A garden should be in a constant state of fluid change, expansion, experiment, adventure; above all it should be an inquisitive, loving, but self-critical journey on the part of its owner. --- N.E. Bates
My next post will feature my new greenhouse which I love and am very excited about.

57 comments:

Barry said...

D - Just beautiful - quite extraordinary. So much work but so calming and inspiring. Thanks for sharing. B

zendotstudio said...

As in your artwork, such a wonderful sense of design and placement. Your inner serenity and equanimity shine through in this amazing zen garden.

I would blend into it very well as I am green with envy.

Annie said...

Wow! Did you design this garden from scratch? I would never be indoors if it was mine.

Stan Kurth said...

Serene, tranquil and beautiful

Marlis said...

your garden is just beautiful! thanks for sharing.

Diane said...

Truly using your artistic skills with nature--a piece of paradise.

lyle baxter said...

wonderful gardens. but I would expect no less from such a calming artist as you! My zen garden is small and the bushes have grown too fast with the plentitude of rain we had this year. I have trouble keeping up with the growth! Its so peaceful in the garden isnt it? lyle

Kathy said...

Your gardens are stunningly beautiful!

Penny said...

Beautiful, calming ad peaceful.

Nancy Natale said...

Just fabulous, Donna. Thanks for showing us your lovely, tranquil world!

P.S. My keyword for this comment is forests

dosfishes said...

The loveliness of the garden makes me catch my breath. I know how.....much work it takes to make something this beautiful and serene. The quotes are wonderful and inspiring. Thanks as always for sharing your talents with us.

La Dolce Vita said...

gorgeous, peaceful loveliness! thanks for inviting us in!

Karin Bartimole said...

the life energy in your garden spaces seem to flow directly out from my computer screen as I scroll through your post... Wonderful accompanying quotes, as well :) You and your husband are a wonderful team! much peace, Karin

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

The perfect setting on a cliff starts it off and then the garden becomes it's own beauty. I would say these photos rival your photos of gardens on your recent trip to Japan. Thank you for sharing bits of your everyday heaven.

alteredbits said...

i am in love with your garden (and home) and am always so thrilled when you share photos. i would live outside, i think, if i had your gorgeous gardens. i most certainly would get a lot less each day, though i would most definitely not complain.

can't wait to see your new greenhouse! we haven't a huge yard, but have been considering how we might make a small one for our our produce and of course orchids (i love growing them, but generally end up killing them -- they are, i believe, the only thing i can't grow well).

what will you be growing in your greenhouse?

Katherine said...

Donna what a stunning garden. I never understand how artists have time for gardens. I always feel pulled garden or art. But then this looks like a low maintenance garden.
I love the quotes, thank you.

merci33 said...

There is such a sense of congruence in all that you share...art, quotes, photos...no piece out of place...tranquil mind outpictured...so 'of the TAO'..thank you for the sanctuary that you consistently offer us...so hopeful, so beneficial...so deeply appreciated.

neva gagliano said...

the whole:
outer and inner shared, complete, and created in sync with one another.
with each other,
the peaceful inhabitants.

Jo Reimer said...

What a lovely place you've created, Donna. I share your love of gardening though I don't have such a helpful resident handyman. We have no lawn which makes gardening a bit less demanding on a regular basis so that helps. Making and keeping an artistic garden is so similar to collage... a blending of elements to make a beautiful whole.
I bought Randall's book and especially liked the section about you and your work. You're still at the top of my list of great ones.

Shayna Prentice said...

Your gardens are beautiful songs!

Marie said...

My gardens are always in the state of flux, but they don't look anything like yours! sigh!
Your landscaping is just so beautiful...I can just hear the waterfall & breathe in the sweetness of it all.
Can't wait to see the greenhouse!

In the Light of the Moon said...

Peaceful amd beautiful..a lovly space to spend with those you love,sitting in silence,enjoying the life around you.Warmest Regards,Cat

Ruth Armitage said...

You've created such a beautiful setting in a beautiful location. It's always a pleasure to visit, I just wish it weren't such a long drive! And to think that when we first met you didn't even like gardening! I'm so glad it's just another interest we can share.

mano said...

your garden is so beautiful, really peaceful and calming. I'm curious about your greenhouse!

Ian Foster said...

I am rather too late with my comment, it has already all been said by those commenting before me. Thank you for this glimpse of your garden, I am seriously envious.

heather noye said...

Beautiful! You've got a lot there. This must be a huge garden!!!! very nice :)

willow said...

Stunning!! I'm so impressed you built all this from scratch.

sukipoet said...

what a peaceful pleasure it would be to stroll through your garden, and IS vicariously. Thanks for the stroll. You have done a lot of loving work through the years and created a masterpiece.

Lisa said...

Your beautifully designed garden looks like a peaceful retreat.. i can feel the calm just looking at your photographs. Gardens provide so many therapeutic benefits!

Julia said...

I am in love with your garden and the beautiful words you have decorated around it here....It is everything I would want in my graden if I had one..What pure joy...thanks for sharing...xx..julia

Cynnie said...

What an inspiring place you developed here...just wonderful.
I am working on a series of watercolors of Zen Gardens....

iNdi@ said...

ooh lovely
i love gardening, it gives you time to think
while finding all the treasures buried last summer
and
is much better for your body than going to the gym
thanks for those lovely images

Kelly Marszycki said...

gardens seem to be on everyone's mind these days as summer is readying for solstice! :-) Beautiful gardens, Donna -- thank you for sharing!

Sandra said...

your garden must be such a lovely place to stay in, to find one's true centre.
Thanks for sharing.

Hannah said...

I love seeing the color contrasts that are possible with the japanese maples; the deep purply red and the brilliant chartreuse. Your garden composition brings to mind the temple gardens of Japan that I've visited only in literature and the very real Japanese Garden in Golden Gate park. Thank you for the retreat via words and images!

jgy said...

Wow! Beautiful and wonderful gardens.
Serene, inspiring...enjoy a wonderful weekend:)))

oneartistjournal said...

Wonderful images of your wondrous gardens...How enchanting to be surrounded by such beauty.
XOXOrly

rivergardenstudio said...

Ahhhhh, your gardens are as lovely as the inside of your home and the art you create. And I love the quotes. I will come back to read them again. roxanne

Outside The Lines said...

Donna...thank you for taking us on a tour of your beautiful gardens...so serene and lovely, and as well thank you for the beautiful quotes...it is always to joy to read your blog...

Leslie Avon Miller said...

Yours is the most beautiful garden I have seen. Clean lines, interesting elements and artful arrangements. Thanks Donna.

LE CHEMIN DES GRANDS JARDINS said...

Ce jardin est un jardin d'artiste dont la composition met en valeur, non seulement l'espace mais les plantes et les éléments. Le land art est très proche de cet esprit et j'ai beaucoup de plaisir à regarder tes photos.
Félicitations

Roger

Eva said...

So inspiring! You and your husband are a great team and have done a wonderful job.It's always a pleasure to visit your place.

ArtPropelled said...

Can't believe I nearly missed this post! Your garden must be the most tranquil, soothing place to sit and absorb the beauty. I love the running water, the maples, the stacked rocks and the koi ponds.

grrl + dog said...

in our first house,
we wanted a japanese garden..

we got half way there...the beautiful mapale and water feature with the bamboo scoop..

then we got Baxter, who was the antithesis of zen
back then.

he ate the bamboo scoop and used the water feature as his personal drinking bowl.

we went with the flow...

thanks for the visit. I appreciate how much work goes into it..

Gaby Bee said...

Your garden is a dream! Beautifully designed ... a veritable paradise!
Thanks for sharing your private oasis with us!
Now I can hardly wait to see your new greenhouse!
Gaby xo

Suz said...

A joy to behold
and a great way for me to end my day
dry riverbeds and all those glorious rocks and stones
thank you for the peek

Amelia said...

oh my goodness, this is so very inspiring! I want one too now. I have a little stone buddha in my garden but no water and I love the way the stones are assembled . . . .oh my so many good ideas out there!

Amelia.x

mansuetude said...

see

you are beautiful

.

(Wa)

mansuetude said...

you got me thinking about Stanley Kunitz. i wonder if if His garden misses him; his voice, his touch, his puttering about.

San said...

Such tranquil gardens you've nurtured, Donna. Rich with "layers."

Sharmon Davidson said...

Ooooooh, I just love it! I can see that you've put so much of yourself, so much love into it. What an inviting, peaceful oasis it is!

Studio Sylvia said...

"My daily activities are not unusual,
I'm just naturally in harmony with them.
Grasping nothing, discarding nothing...
Supernatural power and marvelous activity -
Drawing water and carrying firewood."
Layman Pang-yun (740-808)
Your garden is evidence that you are in harmony with your gardening activity Donna and with your husband. I don't know about you carrying firewood, but your garden certainly draws water and is that water I see in the background of one photo? Supernatural power? Isn't that serenity, harmony and quietude - all obviously present in the garden you have created. Congratulations on such a wonderful achievement.

ALeks said...

If there is Heaven on Earth created by a lady than this should be it!! Love,love and love! Wow!
Aleksandra :)

Debrina said...

As beautiful as your painting and collage work, Donna!

Deborah said...

Lovely lovely gardens. I imagine one breathes better just by looking at them. I also enjoyed the quotes.

George said...

I loved these quotes, Donna, especially the one from Kipling, and I also loved the photos of your Zen garden. What a fabulous place you and your husband have created for yourselves. Thanks for sharing it with others.

Seth said...

Your outdoor space is like a dream. You have created something utterly magical here.