Word for Wednesday – Repose

repose 1 |riˈpōz|
noun
temporary rest from activity, excitement, or exertion, esp. sleep or the rest given by sleep : in repose her face looked relaxed.
• a state of peace : the repose of the soul of the dead man.
• composure : he had lost none of his grace or his repose.
• Art harmonious arrangement of colors and forms, providing a restful visual effect.
verb [ intrans. ]
be lying, situated, or kept in a particular place : the diamond now reposes in the Louvre.
• lie down in rest : how sweetly he would repose in the four-poster bed.
• [ trans. ] ( repose something on/in) poetic/literary lay something to rest in or on (something) : I’ll go to him, and repose our distresses on his friendly bosom.
• [ trans. ] archaic give rest to : he halted to repose his wayworn soldiers.
repose 2
verb [ trans. ] ( repose something in)
place something, esp. one’s confidence or trust, in : we have never betrayed the trust that you have reposed in us.

Every garden needs a spot to rest, a spot of repose. A place just to sit and listen, to watch and wonder, to take a much needed and meditative break. A place to find peace from the day’s complexities. It is not just the physical resting of the body, but also the resting of the mind and the mind’s eye.

A garden filled with bloom and color needs those places where the eye can have a rest as well, sometimes accomplished with a strategic dash of white. A place to focus, a place to realign, a place of special detail. After a brief rest, the eye can continue on through the landscape.

This colorful garden above, is sited away from the home, to be intentionally seen from a distance. It can be for allergies, or in this case, not to compete with the serenity and the borrowed view of the escapement. The paved space is a much more zen-like experience without all the color. A very old, middle Eastern alter completes the experience. The borrowed view is a mere birch framed peek, a window to the grand scenery just around the corner.

Just look a little to the left, below, it is the same moss encrusted stone bench. There is plenty of newly planted shade plants just waiting to mature and give ambiance, privacy and serenity to the space. The altar base was subsequently done in beautiful, faded blue and rust colored antique, handmade mosaic, but this image was taken during the construction process, so missed the final completion. Work on this project lasted years. I will show you some of it at a later time. But this space was designed for reflection and meditation. A perfectly shaded resting zone in austere simplicity.

Do you get a different feel with the three benches facing the altar and nestled protectively amongst the tall trees? The austerity fades with supporting planting and structure.

Garden benches when sited well are not only a place for the body to rest, but also a resting point for the eye if designed and placed as such. Above, the design affords a theater-like view of the stunning fall landscape. The raised, moss-covered patio is attached to the structure, but feels separate.  It joins as one to the outdoor landscape sited with deference to the existing trees. The design below is part of the property in the second image. It is in a terraced area below the upper patios and canopied veranda. I bet you are guessing I like to design fluid and curved outdoor areas. Even the first image has the patio on a large and gentle curve. Curves are the relaxing of a straight line.

Every plant needs a time of rest too, for a time to start anew in the gentle rain.

Or take a long winter’s nap.

A restful visual effect. Sometimes it is about the extended and borrowed view. Positioning the viewer where rest will be inevitable.

And positioning a chaise where it its most likely to be used. Sorry that the chaise is not more evident in the image below, but it is the same rock garden as above, just a little more mature.

Sometimes a tree cut to sitting height proves the perfect spot to catch a view on a Autumn morning.

To lie down in rest. And who does that better than cats? Don’t they sleep 19 hours a day?

They don’t even care where they plop down. These big cats were taken at the Buffalo Zoo, a project of which I was part working at the architectural firm in Buffalo. I did design work and construction documents, working in a team. It was like a dream project for me. I had a zoo pass and spent a lot of time there.

Every gardener needs a restful outlet, even if it is drawing something else at rest.

There is a time of day to rest from activity.

Sometimes you come across something that passed on, like the dead bee, frozen in position sitting on the dying rose. So sad, but that is life moving on to the final resting place.

There are places of faith in a higher state of peace. Those we can not picture, only hopefully imagine.

Our next Word for Wednesday is Evolution or Evolve. It was suggested by…b_a_g, of Experiments With Plants. It will be a real challenge for Evolution, so I threw in Evolve since evolution is a derivative of evolve. Join in on Wednesday, October 19.

Join us…

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About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
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40 Responses to Word for Wednesday – Repose

  1. One says:

    Not only are your photos great,… I am now very much in love with your drawing. There is something about that sleeping tiger that I cannot stop admiring…

    Now that your Word of Wed is early, I may have to transfer my draft out to the other blog. The caption post has been posted only less than a day.

    Evolve is a good word. My suggestion; Lingering.

  2. Donna says:

    Lovely thoughts regarding repose. The meditative garden is a stunner. What an incredible place with an even more incredible view. The tiger drawing is beyond words Donna. Your talent is so incredible really!! Cannot wait for Evolve/Evolution…good idea for WfW b-a-g. I am assuming it will the 19th…so I will plan accordingly.

  3. Bumble Lush says:

    Beautiful photos, as always! They truly do represent peaceful repose. I love the snowy one.

  4. Mama Zen says:

    Such a breathtaking post!

  5. Laurrie says:

    I notice that repose in the landscape is shown in your beautiful examples mainly by hardscape. The stone walls, sitting areas, patio pavers, and other hard surfaces give that zen quality that is so restful. Can greenery and gardens themselves create repose? Or is repose a man-made state, that is really the negative, or opposite of nature? Hmmmm.

    • Laurrie, I had to reply. These spaces are all about nature, from the use of natural stone to the remarkable views. Much more than I have shown. Plus the plantings in two of these particular projects are all ferns, hosta, heuchera, Jacob’s ladder, and many other monochromatic plants. A garden of flowers can be restful as well, but usually much color is associated with and expresses energy. Pastel color, on the other hand is much more calming, as is a white garden. I will show more of these ten to fifteen acre properties later.

  6. Hmmm…maybe I can link in my most recent post because the experience reflected “A harmonious arrangement of colors and forms, providing a restful visual effect.” Great word for an Indian Summer Wednesday!

  7. GirlSprout says:

    Donna, I had to check in early to see what you came up with for repose. Looking at your images and reading your words brought an unexpected calmness to my hectic day.

  8. Grace says:

    Beautiful photos and prose. I know our gardens are entering a time of repose and although I know it is a part of life it makes me sad. But spring will come again. Thank you for visiting my blog and for your kind comments.

  9. b-a-g says:

    Donna – you are truly multi-talented. Love your drawing of the sleeping tiger, I wish I could rest completely like that.
    I don’t know anything about garden design so I appreciate that you guide us through the concepts in this way.

  10. andrea says:

    Oh i thought i already left my comments here, I was in a hurry backing-up my blogsite because Francisca is leaving again and might not be able to get a computer while on the plane. She has been teaching me how, so i wont get a heart attack again. Or else i might get a complete repose, knock on wood. LOL.

    I most specifically love that stumps photo shot low giving that height, however even if the stumps are in a state of repose, i dont get that feeling while looking at it. Now i have 2nd thought, will Repose be with us looking at it or the subject in state of repose? Hmmm, that is what i like, you make us think a little.

  11. I enjoyed all your examples of repose. I love the shot of the lion…she really looks like she is in a state of repose! The tree stumps is another favorite! You are truly multi-talented…the drawing of the tiger is amazing!

  12. DAY says:

    The traditional Japanese garden is all about “repose”. It can offer momentary respite from the teeming throngs of Tokyo, a chance for inner reflection.

  13. HolleyGarden says:

    There is something calming about an all green space. It allows the mind to rest, and thus allows the body to relax and calm down. Lovely examples.

  14. Carolyn♥ says:

    Ahhh… I needed some repose in my life… thank you much, Donna. My beautiful thinking spots have sat as shrines this Summer, with only an occasional sit down. Surely not enough, and now this very day… Fall has taken over my Summer gardens and it is getting cold. Need to s.l.o.w down. Your beautiful post seems to give my permission. 🙂

  15. patty says:

    You make such lovely gardens Donna. To me, repose is a sense, a feeling of calm or quiet. I find it looking at long or large lawns, meadows, and snow filled vistas like the photos you shared. Isn’t that what we try to recapture in our gardens when our own lives are feeling more chaotic?

  16. Lona says:

    Gorgeous spots to set and reflect upon many things. Such wonderful pictures.

  17. I find it hard to feel restful in very formal places with cut stone – but packed with vegetation, where I can hide from view rather than sit up straight because people can see me – that’s different. (If I didn’t suffer from hay-fever, that would be even more pleasant!)

  18. Lovely essay on repose. I was relaxing into a tranquil place when I got to your winter shot…and immediately started shivering. Weren’t we just there?

  19. Autumn Belle says:

    Your images are beautiful and inspiring. You are certainly very talented. I love your drawing of the sleeping tiger which looks very real and lifelike which makes me want to touch it! My post is up. My suggestion for the next word – Recollection.

  20. Jennifer says:

    This is a lovely essay on the word repose. The pictures are all just beautiful.

  21. I could certainly use a restful spot to relax in the garden at the moment. If there was a way to magically transport one of the peaceful scenes from your photos into my front garden, I would seize the opportunity to repose one of the chairs or benches and soak it all in. My word for Wednesday sadly is ‘mud’ this week. Thank you for the respite though, I needed that!

  22. These images are so relaxing. I am grateful for your choice of word this week because it so appropriately describes my garden and my mood. And it was refreshing to take some photographs of restful spots in the garden. As an animal lover, there are very few animals with which I do not find a kinship. However, cats have always had a special place in my heart. I really enjoyed your cat photos and especially your drawing…awesome! And as I prepared the post for Word for Wednesday, my male Siamese sat on the settee in the sunroom and gave me a cat photo of repose to add to the post…I was thrilled! Thanks for hosting!

  23. Christina says:

    You are very clever at finding images to suit the word. All of them lovely! Thanks for hosting this fun meme. Christina
    http://myhesperidesgarden.wordpress.com/2011/10/05/word-for-wednesday-repose/

  24. Joy says:

    Donna girl this was absolutely wonderful ! .. I love those secluded peaceful spaces to sit and clear your mind .. the trees hold such a protective atmosphere for a wondering gardener to appreciate all of these spaces .. I love seeing the BIG cats .. they remind me of my little “big” cats .. the same expression and need to stretch out and relax ? LOL
    Joy : )

  25. Wonderful set of photos today. I’d love to sit and repose in some of those peaceful places.

  26. Rose says:

    Beautiful images! They all evoke such a feeling of peacefulness. I think this is why I love Japanese gardens so much–your cares seem to drop away the minute you enter.

    Love the big cats!

  27. TufaGirl says:

    My posting is not garden related but I could not resist adding it.

  28. lula says:

    Donna, will need more days to catch up with your blog, but this post is what I need after a couple of hectic weeks: relax! I wanted to leave you a comment on the dragonflies post, but could not find the link to comments, anyway I lovedragonflies and you captured them beautifully!

  29. Greenearth says:

    Beautiful images.

  30. Cathy says:

    Amazing photographs… I especially love the first couple, with the bench and table and chairs, set on the flagstone veranda… what a serene view, away from the business of the garden. Sometimes I find it hard to relax in the garden as I see all the work that has to be done!

  31. I just stumbled upon your lovely blog 🙂 I LOVE gardens with a well placed bench. Your photographs are stunning. You have reminded me of the classic book, ‘Angle of Repose’. Have a beautiful, reposeful(?) day XOLaura

  32. I am surprising myself by being drawn to the snowy photos most! Repose is a wonderful word, I love your whole approach, and I feel very much at repose now, thank you!

  33. Mac_fromAustralia says:

    Beautiful drawing!
    My repose area of the garden is still unfinished so it would really only qualify for a To Do List post not a Repose post. Oh well, I tell myself I don’t really want anywhere to sit until I’ve finished everything else.

  34. Indie says:

    Beautiful photos! I especially love the garden with all of the curves and the snowy scene. The tiger that you drew is awesome!
    Thanks for hosting a great meme! My suggestion for a word is ‘ephemeral’.

  35. I am going to save the link to this post and open it up every time I’m stressed (frequently these days). Such serene beauty! Your drawing of the tiger is outstanding.

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