Yesterday in glorious sunshine my students and I visited Jennifer Carlson's garden in Magnolia--her business is Haven Illustrated, and all of her work is profoundly connected to what she creates and grows in her amazing garden. Everyone in the class responded with a wonderful sketch--Jennifer's powerful design sense informs everything in the garden and everything she does. It reminded me of a quote I recently encountered--by Nagatake Asato, former director of the Tokyo National Museum. There is no distinct separation of art from life in Japanese tradition. There is only life, and the art of Japan cannot be extracted from it.
Once in a while you encounter someone whose life is directed by an innate appreciation and understanding of nature itself, and its artfulness--I think we all felt that way yesterday at Jennifer's garden. Her garden is based on sustainable urban practices--including composting, rainwater cisterns, backyard chicken coops--and she shares all she has learned with the greater community through classes and seminars taught at urban horticulture venues.