Summer Solstice

The longest day of the year – a little frisson of dread – the gaining of daylight ends and the losing begins. But still, we have so much real summer ahead – more time with warmer weather in our gardens.

In the book “Gardens of Inspiration,” 15 gardeners, including favorites like Mirabel Osler and Anna Pavord, were asked to write about gardens that influenced them. The book is rich and thoughtful with photographs by Vivian Russell, who is also one of the gardeners.

After years of visiting gardens to take pictures she writes: “It is the process by which people arrive at the gardens they have made which fascinates me; the sources, references, connections and singular passions that seep into the well of the unconscious and swirl around for years, before ideas for a garden are finally ready to be drawn.” And adds: “The most inspiring thing about gardens for me is the way in which they make people happy.”

This painting of garden perennials, done in a rainy Alaska solstice week, still makes me happy – but so does thinking about Washington summer – due to arrive after the Fourth of July!

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