Sunday, February 27, 2011


Wild Roses ©2008 Laura Jean Zito
What does the word garden encompass? secret garden, garden parties, garden club, maze garden, garden pool, garden path, winter garden, flower garden, topiary, arboretum, public garden, garden landscaping, garden of eden, coral garden, garden furniture, gazebo, arbor, terrace, cultivation, window boxes,  garden gate, color fields, park, yard, lawn, lawn party, flower, roses, rose garden, azalea garden, roof garden, bird-watching, farming, apple orchards, historical gardens, famous gardens, botanical gardens, oriental gardens,  paradise garden, herb gardens, garden variety, cultivated collection and selection, intersection of man’s desire with nature’s, place to play and recreate, outdoor room, green, roots, sprouting, weeds, growth, fruition,harvest,cornucopia,blossoming, fertility, backyard,bed, conservatory, enclosure,field, greenhouse, hothouse, nursery,oasis, patch, patio, plot, display, fertile, well-cultivated region, large public auditorium or arena, open-air establishment where refreshments are served, to work as a gardener, garden community, take down the garden path,  garden chair, garden flat, formal gardens, grove, plantation, landscaping, market garden, rock garden, sunken garden, tea garden, garden slug, zoological garden, gardenia


Saturday, February 26, 2011


Coole Park © 2007 Laura Jean Zito


William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

Ah, that Time could touch a form
That could show what Homer's age
Bred to be a hero's wage.
"Were not all her life but storm,
Would not painters paint a form
Of such noble lines," I said,
"Such a delicate high head,
All that sternness amid charm,
 All that sweetness amid strength?"
Ah, but peace that comes at length,
Came when Time had touched her form.

Friday, February 25, 2011


                            A Gardeners' Gathering
The gardening talks to be held in conjunction with the Art Show,  A Gardeners' Gathering,  will be Fridays 12:30 to 2 and will be a bring your brown bag lunch event.
March 25th  Getting Your Garden Ready For Spring  presented by  Master Gardener Joe Daniels 
April 15th   Shade Gardening presented by Master Gardeners Janae Alberts and Joe Daniels
May 6th   The Gardens of The Historic Grange Estate  presented by  Master Gardener Jay Trolley with  Elizabeth Mellon from the Grange
June 3rd   The Bees presented by Master Gardener and Grange Beekeeper Hazel Delikatny

Monday, February 21, 2011


Tel Aviv Flower Garden ©2009 Laura Jean Zito
"Well-apparel'd April on the heel
Of limping Winter treads."
  William Shakespeare

Saturday, February 19, 2011


"Valentine's Day Roses" © 2011

"A flower's fragrance declares to all the world that it is fertile, available, and desirable, its sex organs oozing with nectar.   Its smell reminds us in vestigial ways of fertility, vigor, life-force, all the optimism, expectancy, and passionate bloom of youth.  We inhale its ardent aroma and, no matter what our ages, we feel young and nubile in a world aflame with desire."
-   Diane Ackerman,  A Natural History of the Senses

Friday, February 18, 2011


Jerusalem Old City Rooftop Garden © 2008 Laura Jean Zito
"Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees."
   Robert Frost, A Prayer in Spring

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Buttercups in Kerry ©2008 Laura Jean Zito
"An altered look about the hills;
A Tyrian light the village fills;
A wider sunrise in the dawn;
A deeper twilight on the lawn;
A print of a vermilion foot;
A purple finger on the slope;
A flippant fly upon the pane;
A spider at his trade again;
An added strut in chanticleer;
A flower expected everywhere ..."
 Emily Dickinson, Nature: April

Monday, February 14, 2011


Window on the Roses  2007 Laura Jean Zito

"O thou with dewy locks, who lookest down
Thro' the clear windows of the morning, turn
Thine angel eyes upon our western isle,
Which in full choir hails thy approach, O Spring!

The hills tell each other, and the listening
Valleys hear; all our longing eyes are turned
Up to thy bright pavilions: issue forth,
And let thy holy feet visit our clime.

Come o'er the eastern hills, and let our winds
Kiss thy perfumed garments; let us taste
Thy morn and evening breath; scatter thy pearls
Upon our love-sick land that mourns for thee."
-   William Blake, To Spring, 1820

Sunday, February 13, 2011


"Watering the Tree of Life in the City of the Dead, Cairo" © 1982 Laura Jean Zito
"Kind hearts are the gardens; 
kind thoughts are the roots; 
kind words are the flowers; 
kind deeds are the fruits." 
  English Proverb 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Short History of Gardens by Laura Jean Zito

A Short History of Gardens by Laura Jean Zito

Did you know Egypt had the first formal ornamental gardens, pairing tall, elegant palms and horizontally spreading acacias in long sweeping symmetrical lanes through rectangular lotus ponds that seemed flower-strewn carpets? The four corners symbolized the four corners of the compass, or the four rivers of paradise later during Islamic times.

Persians raised the bar with the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The garden was the place where everything important in life took place: the signing of political treaties, social gatherings of import, seclusion, refuge, contemplation, feasts, romance.

Prominent Egyptians and Romans, but curiously, not so much Athenians, had their private gardens to walk and teach in. Although Theophrastus, a writer on botany, inherited the private garden of Aristotle, Greek gardens more often surrounded temples and lined roads, than were kept privately.

Ptolemy’s gardens in Alexandria were the most celebrated in the ancient world. Lucullus brought the Persian gardening traditions of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon home to Rome around 60 BC, the story recorded in the cave paintings of Pompeii. The Gardens of Lucullus on the Pincian Hill introduced the idea of the Persian garden to all Europe.

Topiaries, arcades and rose gardens were implemented to create spaces of privacy, shade and ornate cultivation such as Hadrian’s Villa. Islamic gardens continued the use of ponds and pools, fed by narrow straws of irrigation channels. Mesopotamian gardens were big on shade and cool water, Hellenistic and Byzantine gardens on precious materials.

Thus ensued the popularity of enclosed gardens, with walls to show off those materials, and to serve as outdoor rooms with a special affinity with divinity. This spiritual symbolism was reflected in many paintings of the time that depicted the Virgin Mary praying in an enclosed garden, the lost Eden, often with a fountain, a unicorn and roses.

As city sizes and individual assets dwindled or swelled, the gardens reflected all fluctuations, and in the leanest times, only the vegetable gardens remained.

Authority, wealth, and power became identified with the garden, an exterior and therefore obvious indicator. The rich had grape arbors to provide their own wine, and waterfowl wading in their pools. Later, Italian Renaissance gardens used pools and water to represent fertility. French Renaissance gardens spoke to man’s ability to conquer nature on a grander scale, replicating the more open-spaced ancient Roman villas described in ancient, unearthed texts, and public parks were born.

Descartes’ ideas of measureable geometry from a century earlier influenced the head gardener of Louis XIV, who gave them physical and visual representation in Versailles, the model for the formal gardens of Europe. In copycat versions for estate owners, the main house was made to appear larger by exaggerating the horizon line. Spaces to stage plays, concerts and fireworks were built in to amuse the garden stroller en route to the main house, encouraging the use of grottoes, fountains and cul de sacs.

The Spanish Crown built the first public gardens in Europe and in the Americas in the 16th Century. Spain had taken a cue from the Moors, and gardens were far more developed there than in other parts of Europe. They were used everyday, and for every public occasion, as the place for respite from the hot noonday heat and the hassles of commerce.

Monasteries were the true purveyors of botanical lore and preservation of horticultural methods. Aside from their role as practical producers of vegetables, fruits and herbs, monastic gardens were designed geometrically around water to create microcosms that would mathematically mirror the macrocosm of the universe.

In China, and Japan, as temples were the centerpieces of Zen gardens, ponds were the centerpieces of miniature landscapes that developed the theories of Yin and Yang, and also of myths of longevity. Deliberately zigzagging paths mimic the paths life often takes, and remind one of the unseen and unknown future.

The Romantic movement in England brought another current of thought to the precise geometry of the French Renaissance gardens. The picturesque gardens, with wild flowers randomly scattered about, came as a reaction against the influence of stereotypical compositions of landscape painters Claude Lorraine, Poussin and Salvator Rosa that had guided garden theorists of the time.
Influenced by painter William Gilpin in England and Jean Jacques Rousseau in France, as well as by Claude Henri Watelet, Francois Boucher and Hubert Robert, and the Dutch 17th century landscapists, garden theorists such as Humphrey Repton were able to transform the look of gardens to naturally scripted elements that seized actual topography as their roadmap.

This led to the gardenesque style of gardens, where special collectors’ item plants were highlighted in their own beds and trees were positioned to show off their attributes as the first priority. Winding paths connected these highlighted botanical imports.

Garrett Eckbo, James Rose and Dan Kiley,” the bad boys of Harvard” became iconic figures at the head of the landscape architecture movement that embraced modernism, and set aside the form follows function philosophy for one that saw the garden as the outdoor room whose essence mimic’d the nature it tamed, while employing abstract visual art and sculpture to embellish and make a statement. The kidney shaped swimming pool adorned with an abstract sculpture in the 1948 Donell garden by Thomas Church became an icon for modern outdoor living, as exemplified by “Sunset” magazine if the Southwest. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater had much influence as a near perfect harmonizing of man’s dwelling needs with the forces of nature. His nod to the future of gardens in Taliesin as seamlessly integrated into their natural settings yet fulfilling vital desires brings the philosophy full circle.

The gardens of the future, while greening up some city roofs, with attention focused on water shortages, sustainable design and desertification, will also be tailored to humankind’s needs for physical and psychological nurturance. The variegated shapes and settings will provide a wealth of uniqueness in a world ever more uniform and generic. The garden, originally emphasizing man’s ability to impose order on the natural environment, was naturally following a formula of the times. Now the garden pays homage to nature’s defining characteristics, the randomness, the sumptuous chaos, the perennial cycles. All rights reserved © 2011 Laura Jean Zito

Monday, February 7, 2011


Hello, garden art enthusiasts! Submissions are arriving, and some have checks enclosed made out to "Art of the Garden." Please make sure your check is made out to "Friends of the Haverford Township Free Library," as outlined on Page 3 of the guidelines. Thank you!


Chanticleer Garden Pool ©  2006 Laura Jean Zito

spring omnipotent goddess Thou
 e.e. cummings 

SPRING omnipotent goddess Thou
dost stuff parks
with overgrown pimply
chevaliers and gumchewing giggly

damosels Thou dost
persuade to serenade
his lady the musical tom-cat
Thou dost inveigle

into crossing sidewalks the
unwary june-bug and the frivolous
Thou dost hang canary birds in parlour windows

Spring slattern of seasons
you have soggy legs
and a muddy petticoat

is your hair your
eyes are sticky with
dream and you have a sloppy body from

being brought to bed of crocuses
when you sing in your whisky voice
the grass rises on the head of the earth
and all the trees are put on edge

of the excellent jostle of
thy hips
and the superior

slobber of your breasts i
am so very fond that my
soul inside of me hollers
for thou comest

and your hands are the snow and thy
fingers are the rain
and your
feet O your feet

feet feet incorrigible

ragging the world


                                                                    e.e. cummings 


Ein Khudra, Sinai © 2000 Laura Jean Zito


Sunday, February 6, 2011


Garden Path © 2010 Laura Jean Zito
 The diversity of the phenomena of Nature is so great, and the treasures hidden in the heavens so rich, precisely in order that the human mind shall never be lacking in fresh nourishment."
-   Johannes Kepler, Mysterium Cosmographicum

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Helen Hayes Views Her Portrait by Al Hirschfeld at the Margo Feiden Galleries Ltd., NYC © 1987 Laura Jean Zito
"All through the long winter, I dream of my garden. On the first day of spring, I dig my fingers deep into the soft earth. I can feel its energy, and my spirits soar."   
-   Helen Hayes

Friday, February 4, 2011


Question: I didn’t put down the size because I’m not sure what to put down.  
Answer: the size would be the outside dimensions of the frame, to make for easier identification, and let the website viewer know what size the picture is to see if it fits their wallspace. Some people put the size of the print itself, and also the framed size, to allow the possible purchaser to think about framing themselves, perhaps to match their decor.
2) What price do you recommend to be taken seriously but also to sell?The price should be high enough to make it worth your time, and to suit the medium, and low enough to encourage sales so the library can make as much as possible! If the prints are 11" x 14" and framed 16" x 20", then the price might be anywhere from $100 - $300.00. If the print is 16" x 20" and framed 20" x 26", then the price might be $175.00 - $475.00. If the print is 20" x 24" , framed 26" x 32" then the price might be $250 - $575.00. The price is determined by the fame of the photographer, the quality of the printing, the number in the edition (if you limit the edition to 25, that will increase the value) the way the print is handled and framed (no dents or fingerprints, archival matboard, double window museum board, elegant frame, no gold bands, etc.,) the size of the print, who printed the work, when the work was printed and on which paper and what process was used, the difficulty of taking the shot, the excellence of the photo, and probably a few other things as well...Hope that helps, Laura

3) What size photo do you recommend entering?
16" x20" is nice, framed to 20" x 26". Then 11" x 14" framed to 16" x 20". Sometimes, when they make digital prints, it is more like 11" x 17" for the print. For the larger print 17.5" x 24" which fits nicely in a 26" x 32" frame. That would be a good size. For the price, for the smaller print, $200.00; for the larger print (framed, of course) $325.00. 

4) Is it possible to send the framed photo w/o glass since glass usually breaks in shipment?
Plexiglass. many people go with plexiglass for a traveling show. 

For a small fee, you can send the photo without glass to me and I will put glass in it that I have here already. That way you won't have to ship the glass at all. But it would have to be one of these sizes: 16" x 20"; 20" x 26" 22" x 28" 32" x 26", 24" x 30"

5) When is the actual deadline? I extended the deadline to March 10 as the final day to RECEIVE all jpegs, slides, applications, checks. Please make the check to "Friends of the HTFL" not to "Art of the Garden", as some people have done by not reading carefully. If you can't fill in the form electronically, no worries. It is just to make data entry less time-consuming. Some people's computers don't allow it as easily. The actual artwork is due by April 4th.

What is the 'Date (optional)' field for? Some people like to put the date they finished the piece, others don't. With photography, two dates are important, the date the negative (or digital file) was shot, and the date the print was struck. A photograph is considered a vintage photograph (and therefore usually more valuable) when the print is made close to the time the negative was shot. For some, historical records like this are important. Other people prefer to leave the date of execution off, as some art shows limit the pieces you can enter to work done in the last so many years, usually two or three.  I have always found this a bit arbitrary myself, as one might finally get around to printing a negative shot twenty years ago. Others would argue that the date of execution begins at the time the piece is first exhibited. However, for those who don't regularly exhibit, that would not mean anything! One often goes back to work again on a work, who is to say when a piece is really finished? Many people put the present date when they enter work in a show, to give it a longer exhibition life. The choice is yours! So I understand why you wouldn't know exactly what I meant! Broadly, date means when the work was finished.
--I do not plan to insure my work, so I will leave that blank. The work will be insured while in the library, and so we only need that to make out the insurance rider. You can make the insurance price the purchase price if you like.
--Size - this is the framed size or unframed? The size is framed, so I can plan the show out on the wall diagram I made, but if you would like to include the unframed size, that is sometimes helpful for a potential buyer, if they choose to reframe. 

QUESTION:I tried to fill in the forms electronically, but no success. So, I printed them out...
ANSWER:You will need to copy and paste the form into word to fill it out electronically. If you find this not possible, just mailing the form in will suffice. You can also send me an email to request the form as a non-PDF file. It is only for added convenience when preparing lists that I need the electronic version. I can also enter the data manually. 
Response: I pasted the form to a word document, but it was rough looking. So I pasted it to Apple Pages, with better results, then converted it to Word. 
ANSWER:  It will differ from computer to computer. I hope you will find it not too labor-intensive. I prepared it on a MAC. I basically just need the data requested on the form. An electronic version simplifies my task. It does not have to be written on the exact form electronically. You can just email me the data requested and mail the signed form in. 


Lotus at Giza© 1984 Laura Jean Zito

"Though cultivation of
plants for food long predates history, the earliest evidence for ornamental gardens is seen in Egyptian tomb paintings of the 1500s BC; they depict lotus ponds surrounded by rows of acacias and palms."wikedia
Good luck to the Egyptian people today! 

Thursday, February 3, 2011


"Maze Garden" © 2008 Laura Jean Zito
 "The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day.
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You're one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
a cloud come over the sunlit arch,
And wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you're two months back in the middle of March."-  Robert Frost, Two Tramps in Mud Time, 1926 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


"And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest."
-   Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Sensitive Plant