Something changes inside of you the moment you walk into a garden. Maybe it’s the fresh air, plants cleaning the oxygen right in front of your nose. Or maybe it’s the colors flooding your eyes, making you wonder how you survived another winter without seeing this beauty. Whatever it is, every sense is awoken as you as you step foot into the garden guiding you to think more clearly and dream new dreams. As many origin stories point out…it all began in a garden.
As I’m building my own home decor collection and growing my assortment of paintings, I keep coming back to the garden. The shapes, colors, and variety provide an endless supply of inspiration and only make me crave heading back to my office to work these images out into new creative pieces. What better place to get inspired then, than the Denver Botanic gardens? A garden that allows you to walk all the climates of the world and explore species and colors you didn’t know existed in nature.
A trip meant to inspire can be done in a variety of ways, but is often done best on your own or with someone who is in no rush, as you often stop to take about 4,000 photos, give or take.
On this trip, there was not plan or rules. We simply walked. Stopping when a certain plant caught our eye or the lighting was just right. I read signs about witch’s broom (a dwarf conifer tree that starts as a brand of another) and fell in love with the koi fish swimming in the pond (how do I get my own koi fish pond?) In the warm sunlight, surrounded by the budding flowers of spring I came alive again. Months stuck in hibernation have made gathering inspiration difficult if not impossible. But now, we’re back into my favorite time of the year when the days are longer, the plants are coming out, and spare time is almost always spent in the garden (whether grooming it or basking in it.)
As I walked the grounds at the Denver Botanical Gardens, it became clear that every time I come here I could focus on something different. You could choose to only look for the patterns on leaves, or find everything that’s the color pink. You could choose to notice only flowers with even number of petals, and on another day flowers with an odd number. Days could be spent on the tiny details you could search for in each climate zone. The details were thrilling to notice and capture and with only 2-hours spent on this expedition, we didn’t even come close to all the inspiration that this garden holds.
But that’s the magic of gardens, you see. There is always something new to discover. A different way to see things, to notice, to slow down and be present. The garden offers us so much of what we’re craving in life and most of us have one in our own backyard.
Whether you’re looking to get inspired for a creative project or just wanting to wash away the winter blues and slow down in a world that’s always telling you to speed up, the garden is the perfect place to do it. It doesn’t matter if it’s your garden, a friends, or a public one, the answers you’re looking for lay among the flowers.
A Look Through My Lens
The following images are a handful of my favorites taken from this most recent trip to the Denver Botanic Gardens. They’ll be used as references for some upcoming projects or perhaps printed and framed to give me a visual garden anytime of year.