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  • Writer's pictureRichard Morgan

Planting a Canvas

May is my favourite time of the year . Winter is well and truly banished and the early spring bulbs and flowering cherries are giving way to spectacular shows of magnolia, azalea and rhododendron . The garden is an ever changing tableaux of colour and texture as plants jostle for their day in the sun . Insects are busy pollinating the fruit trees and birds forage endlessly for grubs for their young . The days are longer and finer and summer is still to come, ahead of us , untouched .

Creativity comes in many forms and for me gardening is simply an extension of Art : It is painting on a grand scale , using all the same elements of shape ,colour, balance , harmony, perspective and texture . Like Architecture, Gardening has the scope to enrich human experience through a spiritual connection with nature, a feeling strongly evident in the garden of Jon and Shan Lea at Craig y Ffynnon , Dolgellau .

Rather than imposing a specific design plan on an innocent landscape , here is a space that has evolved through a dialogue between the owners and the existing flora and topography . The result appears effortless and natural , a truly magical and hypnotic space. Just as the painter uses bold colour to highlight and acentuate passages , this garden has it's hot spots, it's cool receding colours and it's tantalising glimses of distant vistas . Towering mature trees mark out the geometry on a rising plot , water trickles down from above into ponds and gulleys . Soft paths wind through mature shrubs fringed with wild garlic, ferns and anemones . A captivating landscape , a living canvas.

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