What fun! I continue to be amazed by the women in my life—both known to me and newly met—who have such diverse tastes, styles, and ways of expressing beauty. At today's workshop some worked in naturalistic greens—sweet bay, skimmia, spruce, cedar—others in traditional reds and greens, using holly and ribbon; some preferred gold flowers, others silver cones; one woman worked in browns, using dried teasel and evergreen magnolia; another grey juniper and purple hydrangea. Some loved adornment and brought little balls, bells or birds, others eschewed ornamentation…and ALL left me delighted and surprised.
"As is the gardener, so is the garden," Thomas Fuller once said.
Many of us create expressions of ourselves, but I can't help think that working with plants we stretch a bit, lean into the shape of a branch, the arc of a leaf or the colour of a flower, and move outside ourselves in the context of close attention.
Thank you to everyone for coming. I walked Georgie up to the village tonight to meet the hubby at the pub (it was the Christmas light-up after all) and I noticed I was already lit up from our morning's work. When I teach writing, it might take a week or month for me to see the joy of completion on someone's face. And the speed at which we worked—swapping this for that, assessing brightness or texture, critiquing, assessing—isn't for the feint of heart. You are all to be commended and I thank you for teaching me so much.
A special thanks to Lorna Jackson of Ninebark Farm for capturing the workshop in pictures and supplying some fabulous plants and guidance to the guests. Chicken feathers? Who knew!
And thanks again to all of you for coming and sending me charming pictures of your work hanging where you knew it would look best :)…and showing me a glimpse of your heart and home.
PS I'll add more as they come in!