Denise M Taylor

Writing Consultant I Editor I Proofreader I Teacher

Unprecedented mass surveillance and the implications for our private lives, now and into the future, are scary—invisible monsters inhabit the built environment, listening and taking note. Gardens can be our escape, however bizarre. In my mind I make a return visit to one of Italy’s most mysterious and ingenious sixteenth-century gardens: Sacre Bosco in Bomarzo, 42 miles north of Rome. […]

Categories: Musings on Art

For those who follow the teachings of Zen, one must not merely look, but see—and hear. I’m not the meditating type, but the extreme spareness of Ryōan-ji, the dry-landscape Japanese garden in Kyoto, with its solid wall and graceful overhanging branches of cherry blossom—an extraordinary place of art—encouraged me to silently contemplate the meaning of its stillness. This is not […]

Categories: Musings on Art

A sense of timelessness pervades the circuit walk at Stourhead garden in Wiltshire, England. This is a sublime place of beauty where nature has become art, ordered and arranged by humans. The last time I experienced this eighteenth-century landscape garden was on 28 October 2012 when rain tumbled softly, unhurried in the calm weather. Autumn colours were heightened by the […]

Categories: Musings on Art

Claude Monet (1846-1926) painted water in its many forms and moods—a rough and animated sea, a misty and mysterious river, a still and reflective pond, and crisp, white snow. Monet began his water garden at his home in Giverny in 1893, and over time the plants in and around the pond grew and merged, softened and framed. In Monet’s painting, […]

Categories: Musings on Art

Barbara Hepworth’s garden in St Ives, Cornwall, is small and walled, but there are foregrounds and views which are framed by the ‘holes’ that pierce most of her sculptures. This place of art echoes Hepworth’s philosophy as an artist: “to infuse the formal perfection of geometry with the vital grace of nature”.  A bird’s-eye view of Barbara’s ‘back-yard’ would be […]

Right now, leaves are falling in my garden and the days grow colder . . . I am reminded of a day in mid-January 2009 when a wintry sky threatened rain as I approached Villa Lante in Bagnaia, about forty miles north-west of Rome.  Water is a feature of this garden which was begun by Cardinal Gambara in 1568; what […]

Categories: Musings on Art