Leslie Land, a mistress of fine gardening in her own right, once observed about the Central Park Conservatory in New York City:
. . . winter is indeed the test of great gardens. You show us statuary in a muted gallery more flattering than flowers, and as for that allee... well, you can't beat structure and there it is, no matter how tired we all sometimes get of hearing about the importance of bones.
the poem by W. B. Yeats.
Wangchuan Villa, a grand garden in China that originally belonged to Tang dynasty poet and painter Wang Wei.
series of self-contained landscapes using natural elements” to which he gave the name “cup gardens.”
To paint on wet starch is to eliminate friction and there is nothing to oppose the artist's flow of ideas or emotions... He does not think in dimensions or restrictions but is swayed by rhythms.From that method, it was but a short step to the design of Innisfree.
Dormant within me lay all the imaginative world of thought, which came to light because of the starch-film medium. Its spontaneity, its emphasis on stroke and the vision which it stimulated not only permitted me to paint as I have done, but also prepared me for the building of Innisfree garden.
On a wall at the lake edge is a rock, which I call dragon rock; it is the key in a grouping of stones whose function is to hold in balance the lake and the nearby hills, whose function is to cope with the energies of the sky and the distant landscape. I owe the development of the pictorial sense so essential in the placing of dragon rock to my work in the starch-film medium.
A slideshow of Innisfree Garden in mid-October:
For a Spotify Playlist, click on Innisfree in October. A selection of words and music can also be found here:
Jonas Alaska channels Bob Dylan, live on God Morgen Norge, with his song October.
Enter a time warp with the Incredible String Band's October Song from 1966.
Amy Winehouse channels Sarah Vaughn in her own, rather different, October Song.
Rosemary Clooney and Nancy Wilson turn schmaltz into magic with their versions of Mercer/Manilow's When October Goes.
Read Poem in October by Dylan Thomas at Friko's Poetry and Pictures.
Last not least, here's Yeats, reading Lake Isle at Innisfree, including introductory remarks that should not be missed.
To read more about Innisfree Garden, click here and here.
Credits: The Beck quotations can be found here, citing as the original source Beck's 1942 book, Painting with Starch: A Tempura Method. The other quotations are from the sources linked in the post. The sources for reproductions of the works of art can be found at these links:
Handscroll detail, Wangchuan Villa, Wang Yuanqi
Map of the Peninsular Campaign, Walter Beck
Lyric Cadences, Series III, No. 18, Walter Beck
As is true for all photographs appearing on the blog that are not credited to others, the photographs of Innisfree Garden are mine. The panoramic photograph below, however, was taken by J. Holford. Click here and scroll down for another panoramic photograph of Innisfree (without the incongruous statuary).