by Frankie Geouge, Conservatory Garden Volunteer, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
During my first weeks as a volunteer in the Lewis Ginter Conservatory, I found myself in the midst of two transitions: the removal of spent spring plantings and the arrival of the beautiful Fräbel glass sculptures. New plant materials are being nestled into the nurturing incubator of the Conservatory, and the wonderful Fräbel sculptures have been artfully placed to frolic among them. Unlike the painful transitions of childbirth or middle age, however, these adjustments are facile and lovely.
These gorgeous Fräbel glass creations, born from both nature and the creative spirit, exemplify the melding of the real and the imagined. As both an artist and a gardener, I found it wondrous to be able to gratify my love for both horticulture and art within the same artistic space. Some of the Fräbel sculptures emulate nature so closely that it takes a second look to be able to distinguish the living from the skillfully designed (see below).
Other sculptures are flights of imagination: among them, organic fawns reach joyfully out toward their newfound universes, and frosty jesters prance among the natural foliage.
The plantings will change, as all living things do: and it will be continually interesting to see how this juxtaposition between life and art evolves. This gratifying renewal, always unique and constantly changing, is the essence of life in the garden and the inspiration for all art. We should take this as a personal lesson: to resist change is to arrest life and stifle creativity. Changes are necessary in order to grow.
Please feel free to respond to this post with your own reflections.
“The fountain is my speech. The tulips are my speech. The grass and trees are my speech.” George T. Delacorte