I firmly believe that those born with creative minds can find art surrounding them on a daily basis. Art is not limited to painting, sculpture, etc. – art can be found in music, poetry, architecture, and in nature.
Despite the 95+ degree weather warnings, my boyfriend and I ventured outdoors this past weekend and took a small road trip to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. I had learned about the gardens on Pinterest last year and have been dying to go ever since. The sun was high and blazing, causing our skin to tingle the second we walked through the double-doors of the Visitor Center. I held on to my last, cold, air-conditioned breath for as long as I could.
The Flower Walk was the first path we ventured upon. The word ART floated through my mind immediately. The flowers formed identical patterns on either side of the brick pathway. The illusion of one color melting into another formed an ombre effect. Periwinkle flowers melted into purple, which melted into magenta. Pink melted into crimson, which melted into burnt orange. Tangerine melted into yellow, which melted into white.
Just as a painter would mix the correct colors to blend a perfect sunset, the gardeners placed the perfect flowers in the perfect order. Their artistry was immaculate and impeccable. There was not a dead or wilting flower in sight – every bud upon the Flower Walk was in full bloom, smiling up at the sky.
According to the map/information pamphlet we were given I learned that the gardens were created by a French man named Pierre du Pont. He originally purchased the property in 1906 to preserve the trees on the land, but his magical visions truly made the place something else.
My favorite part of the entire park was the Italian Water Garden. My jaw practically dropped when I rounded the corner they were behind. Although I was sweating uncontrollably, the brightness of the day made the views extra spectacular. Mr. du Pont built the Italian fountain area between 1925-1927. He took inspiration from a villa he stayed at a few years prior on a trip to Florence with his wife.
When I read the plaque cemented to the wrought iron fence, I learned that the Italian Water Garden uses optical illusions to make it appear as though all four pools are the same size. The two more distant pools are 14 feet longer than those in front – and you would never know! The water spouting from each fountain was crystal clear and reflected gorgeously against the aquamarine tiles lining each pool. The green grass looked like it had been mowed only minutes ago.
Trying to escape the heat, we ventured into the Conservatory – only to find out by a thermometer that it was over 100 degrees inside. My boyfriend and I were ready to faint but we couldn’t get enough of what we were discovering. We stumbled upon an airy hallway that was dedicated to growing bonsai. A small sign labeled the growing of bonsai as an ancient ART! Bonsai is a form of art that focuses not only on the plant that is growing but also the container it is growing in – making sure these two suit each other calls for an “aesthetically pleasing” view. Most art is about being aesthetically pleasing, isn’t it?
There were many other wonderful aspects of Longwood Gardens but these three were my favorite, and in my opinion, the “artsiest.” Just as art makes me feel calm, so does nature.
To anyone reading this blog post, I have one thing to push upon you: whenever you are feeling lonely, or blue, or just out of it for no reason at all, hop in your car and drive to Longwood Gardens. Make your way through the park until you are standing at the edge of the Meadow Gardens. Take a deep breath. The valley, the trees, and the clouds in the sky are enough to fill your heart with inspiration and keep you feeling peaceful for a very, very long time.
With hopeful eyes, art is never farther away than a glance over your shoulder.