The new dark of the winter season always inspires me–the garden seems barren and still but its not, really. There’s a sleepy quiet growth happening…red tulip bulbs, all planted and silent, are settling in, getting ready for Spring. The ancient camellia hedge in the back of the house that blooms red, pink, and white, one giant shrub after another has already set out tiny buds. And the gnarly 70-year-old red Japanese Maple Sisters (twins! One on each side of the old stone house) now naked after dropping what seems like a fluorescent frock of orange and ruby red to the foresty floor around their feet, are just resting for the moment. They remind me of two Lovely Ladies after a dance, happy and content, tired after all the excitement of showing off for Fall and ready now for a wee nap…it won’t take long before they burst with new frilly lacy leaves.
And remember the old blue clawfoot tub we found about a month ago behind the camellias after we cleaned up the thicket of brambles? It took two very strong guys (who probably will never do anything for me ever again) to move it into the teeny tiny French inspired garden “Le Potager.” I look out at the tub now from our rain spattered old window, loving the thought that it is filled to the brim with beautiful rich and nurturing soil. Yellow, orange and white daffodil bulbs sleep soundly there “in the bath” dreaming of sun to come.
The life and the beauty of the darkened garden…so peaceful and mysterious, so romantic. How could I not paint it?