What’s Growing at the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens: The Art of Nature

What’s Growing at the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens: The Art of Nature
Adrien Rawley, Horticulture Assistant and Educator

Art exists in as many forms as there are artists. From classical music to zany, modern sculptures, from oil paintings to flamenco dancing: there are no shortage of ways for humans to express themselves.

Although art certainly reflects the human creative spirit, one must remember how much inspiration we find in the natural world. When we immerse ourselves in nature with the intention of creating a painting, a poem, a song, a photo, or a dance, we pay close attention. We use our own perspective to share the story of what we experience and remember that we are part of nature itself!

There’s no question that nature is highly skilled and imaginative when it comes to creating aesthetic “objects” too! Throughout the entire year at the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens we watch performances of all sorts take centre stage and dazzle us. We experience the choir of spring peepers, the fresh hopefulness of curled fiddleheads, and observe flowering species grow to their peak beauty before fading. The deciduous trees paint the forest canvas with shades of yellow, orange, red, and brown in the autumn to be replaced with the stark, sculptural shapes of a living, northern winter.

As a way to enjoy nature’s performing arts at the Gardens, consider partaking in a botanical art workshop with Twila Robar-DeCoste! This year there are three opportunities to find inspiration, reconnect with nature, and translate your unique observations and experience into art:

Friday, July 5: Botanical Art: Graphite: Plants of Healing, 9:00am-3:00pm. Finding inspiration in the medicinal and food garden collection of the Botanical Gardens, we will study the familiar strawberry to learn basic principles of botanical drawing.

Saturday, July 27: The Art of Expression: Creative Journalling for Reconnecting to Nature, 9:00am-3:00pm. Slow down, exhale, and open your eyes with this guided workshop on how to fully connect and engage with nature. Sketching, poetry, and other writing activities are part of this meditative and relaxing workshop.

Friday, August 16: Botanical Art: Painting: Plants of Connection, 9:00am-3:00pm. Celebrating the bounty of nature, we will explore some basic botanical painting techniques with available wild fruit, seeds, berries, and leaves.

All workshops are $70.00 per person, with materials provided. Spaces are limited, so register early by contacting Twila Robar-DeCoste at (902) 847-9847 or robardecoste@ns.sympatico.ca. For more information, visit botanicalgardens.acadiau.ca

The Botanical Gardens give you a beautiful and accessible front row seat for astonishing exhibits of seasonal growth and change. Whether you wander the garden paths once a day or once a year, remember to slow down and truly take in what is in the spotlight.