Tag Archives: Gardens

Health & Nature Books: “The Well-Gardened Mind” By Sue Stuart-Smith (2020)

 ‘The Well-Gardened Mind’ provides a new perspective on the power of gardening to change people’s lives. Here, Sue Stuart-Smith investigates the many ways in which mind and garden can interact and explores how the process of tending a plot can be a way of sustaining an innermost self.

A distinguished psychiatrist and avid gardener offers an inspiring and consoling work about the healing effects of gardening and its ability to decrease stress and foster mental well-being in our everyday lives.

The garden is often seen as a refuge, a place to forget worldly cares, removed from the “real” life that lies outside. But when we get our hands in the earth we connect with the cycle of life in nature through which destruction and decay are followed by regrowth and renewal. Gardening is one of the quintessential nurturing activities and yet we understand so little about it.

Stuart-Smith’s own love of gardening developed as she studied to become a psychoanalytic psychotherapist. From her grandfather’s return from World War I to Freud’s obsession with flowers to case histories with her own patients to progressive gardening programs in such places as Rikers Island prison in New York City, Stuart-Smith weaves thoughtful yet powerful examples to argue that gardening is much more important to our cognition than we think. Recent research is showing how green nature has direct antidepressant effects on humans. Essential and pragmatic, The Well-Gardened Mind is a book for gardeners and the perfect read for people seeking healthier mental lives.

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Top New Books: “The Language Of Butterflies” By Wendy Williams (2020)

The Language of ButterfliesButterflies are one of the world’s most beloved insects. From butterfly gardens to zoo exhibitions, they are one of the few insects we’ve encouraged to infiltrate our lives. Yet, what has drawn us to these creatures in the first place? And what are their lives really like? In this groundbreaking book, New York Times bestselling author and science journalist Wendy Williams reveals the inner lives of these “flying flowers”—creatures far more intelligent and tougher than we give them credit for.

In this fascinating book from the New York Times bestselling author of The Horse, Wendy Williams explores the lives of one of the world’s most resilient creatures—the butterfly—shedding light on the role that they play in our ecosystem and in our human lives.

Monarch butterflies migrate thousands of miles each year from Canada to Mexico. Other species have learned how to fool ants into taking care of them. Butterflies’ scales are inspiring researchers to create new life-saving medical technology. Williams takes readers to butterfly habitats across the globe and introduces us to not only various species, but to the scientists who have dedicated their lives to studying them.

Coupled with years of research and knowledge gained from experts in the field, this accessible “butterfly biography” explores the ancient partnership between these special creatures and humans, and why they continue to fascinate us today. Touching, eye-opening, and incredibly profound, The Language of Butterflies reveals the critical role they play in our world.

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New Landscape Videos: “Eight Great Gardens Of The World” (Nowness)

Do you love plants and all things to do with gardens? In our #GreatGardens series, we revisit our top eight episodes which feature the planet’s wildest sub-tropical landscapes and quintessential rural retreats.

World’s Best Gardens: “Bowood House – Private Walled Garden”, England

From The Tatler (June 10, 2020):

The Marquess and Marchioness of Lansdowne’s private walled garden is the jewel in this botanical crown. Attached to the back of the main house, the garden is surrounded by a 16-foot-high wall and is made up of four distinct one-acre squares. It includes a 250-metre formal border, a picking garden, working greenhouses, chickens and a kitchen garden full of fruits and vegetables. 

Wisteria Bodnantense framing the doorway out of the walled garden towards the lake - Bodwood House England - Tatler - June 10 2020

The Hot border designed by Rosie Abel Smith with a mixture of wonderful purples, oranges and reds seen through an arch of Laburnum Vossii - Bodwood House Private Walled Garden - Tatler - June 10 2020There is a feeling of mounting enchantment as you wind along the drive to Bowood House, the Wiltshire home of the Marquess and Marchioness of Lansdowne. It could be meandering through the dense pine forest, thick with wild garlic underfoot, that begins to stir the senses; or the sight of the sculptural tulip trees; and the heady scent of the roses is certainly tantalising.

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Top Gardens: Astonishing “Wisteria Pergolas” Of Petworth House, England

From Country Life Magazine (May 31, 2020):

The Private Gardens at Petworth House West Sussex Photos by Val Corbett Country LifeThe wisteria at Petworth’s private garden is simply astonishing. Non Morris takes a look at how it’s done, with pictures by Val Corbett.

The beautiful pergolas in the Cloister Garden are trained with Wisteria floribunda Alba, a white Japanese wisteria selected for the tantalising length of its racemes — up to 24in — and the way the flowers open gradually along the stem, which prolongs its flowering period. The wisteria is pruned once only, in September.

Petworth House and Park England
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Gardens & Nature Videos: “Proserpina Returns Home” By Jonathan Gelez

Filmed and Produced by: Jonathan Gelez (The World Is Art)

Music:  “Spenta Mainyu” by Jesse Gallagher

Here is a simple and relaxing film about the beginning of the spring season as it happened in my garden. Since going outside wasn’t an option due to the confinement measures in place, I tried to capture the beauty of nature at home.

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Art History Video: “Travels With a Curator – Lazienki Palace” In Warsaw (Frick)

In this episode of “Travels with a Curator,” we travel to Warsaw, Poland, with Xavier F. Salomon, Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator. Xavier enchants us with the romantic Łazienki Park and Palace, also known as the Palace on the Isle. The idyllic gardens and ornately decorated interior spaces are similar in many ways to our own Frick mansion. One of the Frick’s Rembrandt paintings, “The Polish Rider,” once hung in the royal apartments on the second floor.

Art & Landscape: Gardens & Grounds Of The Natural History Museum, London”

The Museum’s gardens were originally set aside for future expansion of the building, but when money ran out they became an outside space for the public. They haven’t just been for show – over the years they’ve been a burial ground for whales, they’ve hosted a secret war bunker, and they’ve been converted to a farm complete with eight Sussex pigs.

The Natural History Museum in London is home to over 80 million specimens, including meteorites, dinosaur bones and a giant squid.

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Art Of The Garden: The Brilliant “Sunflowers” Of British Painter Charles Mahoney (1903-1968)

Charles Mahoney (1903-1968) The Garden 1950 LISS LLEWELLYN art website
Charles Mahoney (1903-1968), The Garden 1950

Charles Mahoney,(18 November 1903 – 11 May 1968): Painter, muralist, draughtsman and teacher, born Cyril Mahoney in London – his fellow-student Barnett Freedman re-christened him Charlie at the Royal College of Art, which he attended 1922-6 after a period at Beckenham School of Art under Percy Jowett. Early on, Mahoney established a reputation as a conscientious teacher.

He was at the Royal College 1928-53, from 1948-53 as a painting tutor, and was noted there for his concern for academic discipline.

Charles Mahoney Composite Plant 1954
Charles Mahoney, Composite Plant 1954

His portrait is included in Rodrigo Moynihan’s celebrated Teaching Staff of the Painting School at the Royal College of Art, 1949-50. From 1954 to 1963 he taught at the Byam Shaw School of Drawing and Painting and from 1961 to 1968 at the Royal Academy Schools. He painted murals at Morley College 1928-30 with his colleagues Eric Ravillious and Edward Bawden.

Unfortunately these murals were destroyed during World War II. The work led to further murals: at Brockley School, Kent, with Evelyn Dunbar; and at Campion Hall Lady Chapel, Oxford. His oil paintings are frequently of a religious nature. He was a skilled botanist, and many of his drawings depict his garden at Wrotham, Kent.

He exhibited at NEAC and the RA, being made an RA elect in 1968. He is represented in the Tate Gallery and other public collections. The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, held a memorial exhibition in 1975. Exhibitions were held in 2000 at the Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston, Royal Museum and Art Gallery, Canterbury, and the Fine Art Society plc in association with Liss Fine Art.

Read more about Charles Mahoney