Monday, April 7, 2008

Garden editing

I love designing – and redesigning – my gardens. (I call it “garden editing.”) And today’s weather is really putting me in the mood to do a lot of garden editing. That’s why a recent e-mail from The Clark Art Institute caught my eye. Am I interested in learning how to design a great garden by copying ideas from famous painters such as Pierre Bonnard, Paul Cézanne, and Claude Monet? You betcha!

This is a free event that’s worth the nice drive up to the Berkshires, if you’re a garden geek like me. Nationally recognized garden designer and author Gordon Hayward will explore the visual language shared between painters and garden designers during his illustrated lecture "Fine Paintings as Inspiration for Garden Design" at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 27. A book signing will follow the lecture.

Hayward is a garden designer and lecturer who has been writing for Horticulture Magazine for 25 years. He is a contributing editor at Fine Gardening Magazine , the author of nine books on garden design, and has lectured at art museums and garden organizations across the country regularly since 1995. Hayward and his wife Mary have been developing a one-and-a-half-acre garden around their 220-year-old farmhouse in southern Vermont for the past 23 years, as well as a tiny garden outside their cottage in the Cotswold Hills of England. His 2003 book, Your House, Your Garden: A Foolproof Approach to Garden Design, won a book award from The American Horticultural Society. Hayward's new book, Art and the Gardener, will be available this fall.

Here is more info from The Clark:

During this lecture, Hayward will juxtapose images of paintings and gardens to explore the many levels of similarity between how painters and garden designers construct their images. See Childe Hassam's In the Garden next to an image from Hayward's own garden in Vermont to illustrate an Impressionist passage in a garden. Uncover how Gustav Klimt's The Park shows the gardener how to keep trees pruned low to compress views under them. Among the many works of art illustrated will be the Clark's The Duck Pond by Claude Monet; Sleeping Girl with a Cat by Pierre-Auguste Renoir; Wood Gatherers: An Autumn Afternoon by George Inness; and Edgar Degas's The Dancing Lesson. Above all, this is a lecture about seeing.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm (daily in July and August). Admission is free November 1 through May 31. Admission June 1 through October 31 is $12.50 for adults, free for children 18 and younger, members, and students with valid ID. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit

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