“Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” — Rumi

I loved childhood holidays at my grandparents’ home in Arizona, playing tag with my cousins amidst branches laden with grapefruits, oranges, lemons, figs and pomegranates, running through patches of mint, and finding shade under a tree to read or draw. Orange blossom scent and “Feliz Navidad” filled the air. The beauty, fragrance and abundance of my grandmother’s garden inspire my own; her orchard’s my original template of planted paradise.

Oberoi Rajvilas

Oberoi Rajvilas in Jaipur

  • flowing water throughout the property
  • deep blue and turquoise ceramic tiles
  • scent of jasmine permeates the air
  • private bathing gardens
  • harmonious combination of sacred temple and secular haveli.

Entrance to the Spa at the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok

  • oasis of tranquility
  • water lilies
  • ferns
  • transition from crazy city to inner sanctuary
  • rest, relax, recharge

Wild & Cultivated

Anna Mack rocked my world and concept of flowers when I visited her Wild & Cultivated organic flower farm in the Berkshires in 2006. Anna grows food crops and heritage plants to sell as gorgeous cut flowers and arrangements. The beauty of the fruit, vegetable and grain plants blew me away — I hadn’t previously considered them for their aesthetic pleasure as well as for their produce. Flowers too are an essential part of the circle of life and intended to be grown throughout vegetable gardens and orchards.

Chinese Scholar Gardens

Chou Wen-chü Five Dynasties Period (Southern Tang) , Hanging Scroll

The Chinese (Scholar’s) Garden is a place for solitary or social contemplation of nature. Chinese gardens were created in the same way as a combination of landscape and paintings together with poems – this was the so-called “poetic garden.” The design of Chinese gardens was to provide a spiritual utopia for one to connect with nature, to come back to one’s inner heart, to come back to ancient idealism. Chinese gardens are a spiritual shelter for [wo]men, a place they could be far away from their real social lives, and close to the ancient way of life, their true selves, and nature. This was an escape from the frustration and disappointment of the political problems in China. They used plants as symbols. Bamboo was used in every traditional Chinese garden. This is because bamboo represents a strong but resilient character. Often pine is used to represent longevity, persistence, tenacity and dignity. The lotus is used to symbolize purity. The flowering plum is one of the most important aspects of a Chinese garden, as it represents renewal and strength of will. Flowering peaches are grown for spring color, and sweet olive as well. The chrysanthemum is use to symbolize splendor, luster and “the courage to make sacrifices for a natural life”. Peonies symbolize wealth and banana trees are used simply for the sound they make in the breeze. (from Wikipedia)



About | Sea Garden | History | Mythology | Inspiration