My Garden Journey
I often refer to my garden as a source of inspiration for my work. On my Instagram page (@fleurharris), I share videos of the floral delights from the garden and the paintings they inspire with my community, and we delight in many beautiful conversations about the garden and creativity.
This inspiration it brings me goes much deeper than my art though. In fact, the process of transforming the space outside my studio from a barren yard into an abundant floral garden has been a profound personal experience. To garden, I have learned, is to unlock a direct gateway to a state of flow; a state of mindfulness and focus that seems to stop time, where you become beautifully lost in the rich offerings of the moment. There are countless references and insights into ‘flow state’ online and in self-help books, but my simple summary is that it is one of the magic keys to happiness.
As an absolute amateur gardener and a tactile learner, my gardening journey has been entirely experimental. I have planted many seeds - some that have never sprouted, some that have gone on to become towering displays of awe-inspiring flowers, and everything in between. Learning through this that humans and plants share many of the same basic needs; water, nourishment and sunlight, I feel an even deeper compassion and care for others.
For when you love, nurture and care for something, and you allow it the full freedom to be itself, truly beautiful things can happen.
I’ve had this reinforced on many occasions throughout my gardening journey. One particular occasion springs to mind – when I accidentally, but lovingly grew an enormous weed. It started as a perfectly innocent looking little sprout. I watered it and fertilised it, and it responded so enthusiastically! Joyful that this enormous plant was now towering at over 2-metres and beaming with health, I lovingly staked it so it was supported and could stand proud and tall.
My joy about the successful growth of this plant was soon crushed, however, when on a car trip I noticed lots of baby versions of this plant growing road-side, and soon I discovered my pride and joy was the highly invasive common ‘Horseweed’. As an invasive species, I had no choice but to pull it out. I’d grown quite fond of my giant weed, and its reluctant removal gave me pause for thought about how anything can be seen as beautiful, when we offer it the freedom and opportunity to be its true, sparkling self.
With love, Fleur xx