There is a slick saying that I, as an artist, have always hated. "Do what you love and the money will follow." This sweeping statement suggests that acting on your passions in life will not only be self-fullilling, they will lead directly to that self-sustaining necessity called "money".
But, there is not a hint of just how quick will that money follow if you, as an artist, quit your job and start painting away in your attic studio. The reality is that the money may never come. I can think of many an artist who died virtually penniless.
Everyone thinks they have talents. And they do more or less. The question is instead, is that gift for writing stories, taking photographs, painting pictures or singing songs exceptional?
Do really talented people know that they are truly gifted?
I am not so sure confidence and talent necessarily go hand in hand. Certainly, there are many people who think they have talent where little or none exists. Just think of those sad creatures who turn up for auditions on shows like American Idol, fully believing that they are the next big singing sensation, when in reality they can barely carry a tune.
I believe that people who do great things, do so, not so because they believe acting on their passions will bring guaranteed rewards. They act on their passions because something inside compels them to take that huge leap of faith. The strength of their commitment is impervious to nagging doubts and the fear of failure that haunt the rest of us.
I know, you must be wondering what all this has to do with gardening?
Well, years ago when Patrick Lima and John Scanlan decided to quietly follow their passion for gardening on vacant strip of land near the tip of the Bruce Peninsula, it was a tremendous leap of faith. Larkwhistle is quite literally in the middle of nowhere. Winters on the Bruce were going be long and harsh. Everything including their home would have to be built from scratch, with little very money on hand. Plants would have to be gifts from friends or grown from seed.
There was absolutely no guarantee that they could make a go of it, much less that "money would follow." I have no doubt, it took amazing courage and conviction for Patrick and John to act on their love of gardening. And I am sure that there were plenty of lean years before the money from the sale of their books began to roll in the door.
That is courage you just have to admire.
In this second post on Larkwhistle garden, we will head into the center of the garden.
We will pass by a small shed where onions are drying on a table.
Fancy hybrid roses, like this one, seem to be in the minority at Larkwhistle. I noted more use of
old fashioned shrub roses instead.
An educated guess that this is Phlox panicilata 'Franz Schubert'
One of the intriguing things about the layout of the property is that the vegetable garden is not a separate entity, but is incorporated right into the main flower garden. In this shot, you can see vegetables growing just beyond the phlox.
There is no water tap or hose at Larwhistle with which to water the garden. The
watering can at the edge of the pond is not purely decorative either.
It is not a great picture, but I want to call your attention to the tall purple flower on the middle left.
It was hard to get a great picture with the tiny flowers shifting in the breeze, but isn't this pretty?
It is Meadow Rue or Thalictrum delavayi. I have tried myself to grow this unsuccessfully. It likes moist soil, which I don't have. After seeing it here, I may have to give Meadow Rue one more go.
Finally, we will take a quick look at the "Quite Garden" where the color palette has been limited to calming whites.
On the left there is Black Snakeroot, Cimicifuga racemosa and on the right Lily of the Nile (another example of zonal denial. Lily of the Nile is native to South Africa.)
If you are thinking of making a visit to this quintessential Canadain garden, the good news is that Larkwhistle is open to the public. Admission is a nominal charge of $3. There are also cards with John Scanlan's photography and seeds for sale at the front gate.
Check out this link for further information: Larkwhistle Garden. While you are in the area, be sure to check out some of the many other beautiful gardens on the Grey-Bruce Peninsula. To get a more information and a map of these rural gardens chick here.
Have a great weekend!
Today, I am going to link up to Fertilizer Friday at Tootsie Time. On Monday, I will link to the Creative Exchange. To see other great posts please click the links.