vignettes and vistas…

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Well, this isn’t the Highlands, but I’ve made a thrilling detour to an inventive and enthralling garden not far from Edinburgh… and I really can’t resist sharing this place here.

Although, like most of my friends, I prefer my nature wild and untamed, I’ve always been captivated when I see plants and structure used imaginatively. Like paint or clay – when thoughtfully composed, they can transport you to somewhere far away, evoke powerful emotional associations and memories, tell a story – whether it’s soothing and tranquil, or fun and humorous, cool, calm and meditative or exciting and hot…

This past week, I had a wander ’round the garden of a friend of a friend in the Scottish Borders. Great art collectors and patrons (they own one of my earlier pieces), they have a huge passion for the creative life and aren’t short of their own inspiration and energy.

Created from a blank canvas, this intensive, walled kitchen garden has been a labour of love for the last 20 years or so and has grown into something quite enchanting. The rest of the gardens – a woodland and pond worthy of Giverny, with further vistas across the rolling hills are also home to contemporary sculpture by Scottish as well as European artists, all relating to the theme of nature and its forms. The visuals say it all…

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I wasn’t able to learn the names of all the sculptors whose work is featured around the garden, but I do know that the final one, below, of the cougar is by Helen Denerley, best known for her larger-than life giraffes, made from scrap metal, on Leith Walk in Edinburgh.

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