|Green Hands "Green Hands"|
|The Art of the Garden
Published in the six Nashoba Publishing papers on Friday, 25 January 2002
Gardening is an art. Art can get a bad rap as esoteric, for the specialists, so that many people learn to think of themselves as "not artistic." But in fact art is a basic part of sensory perception of our physical environment the part of perception that has preferences, values. Studies show that perception is not neutral: our senses are not simply animated receiving machines; rather we have demonstrable innate tendencies to interpret what we perceive in certain ways.
For example: two squares, each with a disk in it. One disk is centered in the square, one is off-center. Universally, people looking at the centered arrangement feel a sense of stability, repose, or calm ... and looking at the off-center composition, get a feeling of instability, movement, or tension. Paying attention to those reactions ... is art.
When you succumb to the charms of a pretty plant at the garden center, bring it home and then ask yourself where to plant it, you need to take into account where it will do well but probably you also have definite ideas where it would look good. This is the beginning of the art of the garden. Why would it look good there?
Arggh. Gotta fix those graphics. But I guess I'll upload this anyway so the archive is complete. - chc
© Copyright 2002 Catherine Holmes Clark