In celebration of our first year anniversary of Plinth et al., Eric and I decided to have a little fun by turning the tables on ourselves and asking a few fun questions to each other. Again, we thank you for taking the time to continue with us on this creative project, it is a pleasure to have you by our side.
Garden that changed your life?
J- DeWiersse changed my way of thinking as it was a highly creative time for me both in the garden as well as out. DeWiersse, in the southern part of the Netherlands, has been in the same family since 1678, so the amount of history weaving through the property is incredible enough on its own. A moated manor house, surrounded by 38 acres of gardens encompassing vistas, formal gardens, wild gardens, meadows and kitchen gardens. It is a magical garden for me that holds many beautiful memories of people, nature, creativity and plants, it was like living in a dream.
If you could speak with one person, living or dead, who would it be?
E- The glazed goblet adorned with grape leaves and stem I made by hand in high school.
J- A watercolor sketch of my bedroom while a student at Great Dixter; living in this historic house was such an enriching experience for me.
Plant you would like to come back as in your next life?
E- An olive tree (Olea europaea). It is a giving tree that flourishes where the cultural emphasis is on food and family, and one can shape it in any way.
J- Definitely Ipomoea alba, or Moonflower vine. I love the lush green foliage with is large white blooms that open during the evening and are closed by morning, the intoxicating fragrance it has and that the lunar moth is attracted to the flowers. While most plants are in bloom during the day, this intriguing plant really shines at night, it is a sight to see lighting up the dark garden.
Favorite antique or heirloom find?
E- My collection of antique milk glass vases. These vases can be bought inexpensively on ebay and flea markets, and their pristine simple shapes are versatile for different floral arrangements. Even when empty, they look good grouped together.
J- That’s like asking a mother if they have a favorite child, just not right. It all depends on my latest find, and while I love my ceramics collection, I have always collected furniture. Since I was a child I would cram as much as I could fit into my room often stacking tables on top of tables until I had no more space. But oddly, I do have this small wooden tray that I love and take with me everywhere I have moved and continue to use.
Favorite thing to cook or eat?
E- I am fond of fruits, and will occasionally bake a cake to satiate my sweet tooth. However, a bowl of cherries or stone fruit at their seasonal best will make me happy.
J- I am a pig, I love to eat almost everything. Though I love cooking and eating healthy foods, my biggest weakness always was, and will continue to be sweets and desserts, and I have been known to eat entire cakes in a day (once, it wasn’t even my cake, there was a misunderstanding….).
Favorite thing to give?
E- Flowers – something about their presence makes people smile.
J- After staying at a friends home, or visiting the private garden of a passionate individual, I make a thank you card with a sketch or drawing on the cover of a view that I enjoyed during my visit or time there. On return visits, I have seen some cards framed, making the process more enjoyable.
E- Bruny Island, Tasmania, Australia. I used to frequent the beach at my friends’ coastal home for walks alone or with the dog. The light and water is always changing, becoming a therapeutic sight for the senses. As much as I love gardens, sometimes one needs a different change on a majestic scene. I took this photograph early before the sun begin to break through the clouds and fog. It is still one of the favorite photographs – the interplay between light and dark on the landscape is just mesmerizing.
J- I have many, but I love capturing moments on camera usually of people or animals and reacting quickly to capture it, like this pheasant hiding among the Narcissus at Gravetye Manor. I love the catching the spontaneity of a shot such as this.
– Thank you!- James and Eric