What would you invent if you could create a world and play inside it for a weekend? This magical place would only exist for two days and then disappear completely on Monday, leaving only a fond memory. How much work would you be willing to invest? How much of your heart would you commit to a fantasy that you knew could not last?
Several times each year I am given this opportunity. I participate in garden shows where my imagination can run wild for a weekend. I build whimsical gardens inside of large buildings where there is no sun, no weather and no restriction from site elevation or exposure. There is no client, no predetermined design or theme; it’s just me and my big ideas.
I’ve built everything from the Hobbit’s Shire, to several Fairy Gardens, even Alice In Wonderland’s mad tea party with a topsy turvy flower strewn table. I once built a tribute to a garden I love where the designer created a system of streams and ponds that spell out words and the moon crosses over a bridge. Perhaps my favorite so far was a display I built after a summer of extreme heat and drought, I called “Dreaming of Rain.” We brought in antique furniture and created a “flower bed” with shrubs for lamps and a rain chain recirculating an ever gently falling shower. All of this lasted only for a few days.
“Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.” Henry David Thoreau
But I never create the same thing twice… that would be such a shame. The garden shows are not just about having a great time meeting with hundreds of people and talking about gardening. It’s about taking my imagination out for a spin. It’s about creating something that will only happen once and enjoying how special that is. Over the years we have won many awards and received wonderful accolades but for me, the big prize has been living in the transient beauty of a dream come true. Even if it only lasts for a short time, it is always a good time for me.
remember, goodness grows,