I found a lovely short feature about how many artists have drawn inspiration from nature, many working from their gardens. Sir Walter Scott gardened in order to separate his mind from debt. Claude Monet’s kitchen garden was his treasured spot. According to Derek Fell, author of Monet’s Palate Cookbook, “Gardens are really extensions of their art.” George Bernard Shaw wrote plays in a little modest garden shed. The shed was built on a turntable so the playwright could turn it to take advantage of the natural light. Shaw was a vegetarian who tended an orchard, his vegetables, and raised bees. Shaw died at 94, after falling off a ladder while pruning a fruit tree. When my father was in his 90’s, my uncle Bob found him up a pecan tree trimming dead limbs. My Uncle Bob’s words, “Wattie, what in the devil’s name are you doing up a tree?”
Many creative accomplished people loved their gardens and fruit trees. John Ruskin was a hands-on gardener. He wrote, “No words, no thoughts can measure the possible change for good which energetic and tender care of the wild herbs of the fields and trees of the wood might bring to the bodily pleasure and the mental power of man.” Leonard and Virginia Woof lived at Monk’s House, a country retreat, which they transformed into garden rooms, brick walkways, and an orchard. Leonard was an author, editor and theorist. Virginia was the novelist and critic.
So how does one clean and de-clutter? Bit by bit and with frequent forays into the garden to pull weeds, spread a little mulch, and to think.