‘What is not  there (in a painting) matters most.’- Mary Potter, British painter 1900 – 1981:

Maybe that is why Mary painted water so much and why her painting of it is so evocative. She understood completely its ethereal, light and life – givingly mysterious qualities.

Ponds capture and release something which isn’t there:

Here on a dull day, a feeble afternoon sun, barely managing to penetrate the thick blanket of grey cloud, is held in the arms of the Varnish Tree which pokes above a formally clipped L-shaped yew hedge.

The waterlilies have yet to get going, but are clearly showing as dull limey leaves at the bottom. Soon they will rise to the surface and the opportunity for reflections will be lost.

Ducks arrive around now to pair up. Usually just one pair. We scarcely ever see them and if we do, we are all seriously shocked, both they and us,  as they scoop down onto the surface.

When we are not around, they have seriously been at the shallow bits where the water lilies are planted in circles of rocks which are gathered together to make a loose planter. Bottoms up in the air, they churn the soil and tear at the white roots which then float around on the surface.

They also fly in with duckweed from other ponds on them. It is never a serious problem here. Our guess is nutrients, warmth and exposure. The waterlilies are quite a gross and luxuriant feature come high summer and the west wind hits this pond quite hard always blowing their offerings up this end of the pond. Which never then really stand a chance of getting going.

All of this is in the photograph.

Here at the Hannah Peschar Sculpture garden, a whole world is caught upside down in an inky mere: gunnera, a house drenched in Vitis coignettiae, an awning, a deck and a ballustrade. Against this dramatic backdrop, spiky balls of of glass malevolently refract light from behind us:

And further into the same garden, a duckweed laden pond exhibits its dank and equally mysterious charms.  The level surface of the duckweed dully reflects the sky.  Anything could happen:

We must cover this extraordinary garden in more depth anon, but for the moment, for us at least, the reflections have it.

 

Have great week ends!

Lesley and Robert

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