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Gardens that are Pretty as a Picture

Updated on February 19, 2015

Gardens That Inspire

Beautiful gardens inspire. They combine the wild side of nature with the controlled design of man to create a coordinated spectacle of vegetation, water and man-made objects. Artists are often inspired to paint these wondrous places. Claude Monet's paintings of his own garden are some of the most famous garden paintings.

I too have been inspired to paint gardens. Some painting locations were simple to find. Like Monet, I walked out my back door into my own back yard. Others I needed special permission to enter the property. Some are open to the public and you can visit them too. Wherever the inspiration takes me, I have found lovely gardens that inspire the artist and gardener alike. When I paint I do my best to capture the beauty of the place. Come visit those memorable gardens with me.

Claude Monet, The Water Lily Pond

Garden Paintings

Imagine having this as your back yard. The garden at Giverny is where Claude Monet painted many of his most famous works. His own garden, with its water lilies, pond, and bridge were a constant source of inspiration. Monet was very active in the design and evolution of his garden. He wrote daily instructions to his gardener with precise designs and layouts for plantings. Even after Monet hired seven gardeners, he remained in charge of its design.

The home, garden and waterlily pond were bequeathed by his son Michel, Monet's only heir, to the French Academy of Fine Arts in 1966. The house and gardens were opened for visits in 1980 and today attract visitors from all over the world.

Claude Monet Water Lily Pond in Giverny - Photo Ariane Cauderlier

Inspired Gardens - Making Your Garden a Work of Art

Smart Solar Ceramic Frog Fountain (Green)
Smart Solar Ceramic Frog Fountain (Green)

Frogs and water...what's not to love. This is a sweet fountain. One of the nicest I've seen.

 
Evergreen Ruby Pansy Glass Bird Bath Bowl with Metal Stake - 11.25”L x 11.25"W x 24.75"H
Evergreen Ruby Pansy Glass Bird Bath Bowl with Metal Stake - 11.25”L x 11.25"W x 24.75"H

This lovely birdbath will add color and life to your garden. Birds really do take baths in it.

 

My Back Yard

My gardening skills are not great. In fact, my plants go through an unintentional series of trials which they have to survive. The gauntlet could include excessive heat, drought, critters and broken sprinklers. All or one of these things conspire to destroy my plants. But despite my bungling efforts, somehow I manage to have a beautiful garden. In fact, the spring flowers have been so wonderful that I have been inspired to do some garden paintings. If I can have a garden that inspires an artist, so can you.

I make sure that the plants are hardy and can handle the local heat and dry spells. I love lavender, honeysuckle, and jasmine and have these in my garden. Every spring these plants blossom with an intoxicating fragrance and the butterflies love them. I also have a variety of daisies, some California poppies and alyssum.

I have painted several different views of my backyard and since every year the garden is different I am sure I will paint even more in the future.

Photo by Sharon Weaver

The Garden Awaits

The Garden Awaits by Sharon Weaver is available for purchase.

For more information click on the image.

Plants that are Sharon Proof - Even I can't kill these plants.

Hardy Favorite Hall's Honeysuckle Lonceria japonica Live Plant
Hardy Favorite Hall's Honeysuckle Lonceria japonica Live Plant

I remember walking to the pool in the summer and passing honeysuckle.This vine is on the trellis on the corner of my guest house and it brings the sweet smell of summers past.

 
Findlavender - Hidcote Blue Lavender Plant - 4" Size Pot - 8 Live Plants
Findlavender - Hidcote Blue Lavender Plant - 4" Size Pot - 8 Live Plants

I love the colors of the lavender plant. That great steel blue/green leaf and the purple flowers. The butterflies love it too.

 

Gallery of Spring 2013 in My Garden

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Trumpet vine in my back yard.Archway in backyard with trumpet vine.An abundance of purple flowers on my trumpet vine.Bougainvillea in front yard at the side of my front door.Purple flowers against the white picket fence.The trumpet vine goes all around my back yard.Bougainvillea outside my bedroom window.
Trumpet vine in my back yard.
Trumpet vine in my back yard.
Archway in backyard with trumpet vine.
Archway in backyard with trumpet vine.
An abundance of purple flowers on my trumpet vine.
An abundance of purple flowers on my trumpet vine.
Bougainvillea in front yard at the side of my front door.
Bougainvillea in front yard at the side of my front door.
Purple flowers against the white picket fence.
Purple flowers against the white picket fence.
The trumpet vine goes all around my back yard.
The trumpet vine goes all around my back yard.
Bougainvillea outside my bedroom window.
Bougainvillea outside my bedroom window.

More Plants I Recommend

Purple Queen Bougainvillea One Gallon
Purple Queen Bougainvillea One Gallon

I have two on either side of my front porch and they are very hearty. Be warned though, they will freeze so they are not for cold weather locals.

 
Lavender Trumpet Vine One Gallon Plant
Lavender Trumpet Vine One Gallon Plant

The purple trumpet vine is a little hard to find but so worth the effort. Again it is for warmer climate zones.

 

Arlington Garden

Once a Vacant Lot

Arlington Garden is a great example of what a community can do to beautify its neighborhood. Owned by Caltrans, the lot was used as a staging area to build a nearby freeway. A vacant lot, in 1961 someone had an idea. To develop the lot into a neighborhood garden. It was developed by a collaboration of the Metropolitan Water District, garden clubs, local business, nurseries, neighbors, and friends who donated time, plants and money to turn it into the enchanted garden it is today.

The 3 acre park is a water-wise garden that is in harmony with Pasadena's Mediterranean climate. The garden's colors and plants attract butterflies and birds to this formerly barren lot and show the community how beautiful, practical, and satisfying a well planned, water-wise, climate-appropriate garden can be.

For more information on the Arlington Garden click on the photo.

Photo by Sharon Weaver

Jasmine at Arlington Garden

Source

The Huntington Botanical Gardens

Also Home to The Huntington Library

This is an amazing place. The gardens and library are on 207 acres, of which 120 are landscaped and open to visitors. More than 14,000 different varieties of plants are showcased in more than a dozen principal garden areas. Each area has a theme with plants indicative of the theme.

The Lily Pond Garden was developed first and this is my favorite garden. Other wonderful gardens include the Desert Garden, The Rose Garden and The Japanese Garden which has an extensive display of Bonsai.

There is also a conservatory with a 16,000 square-foot greenhouse which comprises three different habitats; a lowland tropical rain forest, a cloud forest, and a carnivorous plant bog.

I can't write about everything the Huntington has to offer so to find out more information click on the photo.

Photo by Sharon Weaver

Lily Pond Afternnoon

All my paintings are for sale.
All my paintings are for sale. | Source

Would you Like to Add a Pond to Your Garden?

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Do you want to add a pond to your garden?

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Painting at Descanso Gardens

The Descanso Gardens belonged to newspaper magnate E. Manchester Boddy, who owned the Los Angeles Daily News. He ran a commercial camellia garden at the location and there are still lots of camellia trees on the property that bloom in the early spring.

The day I painted Sunny Side, I was with a group of artists. Several gravitated to the pond but while many painted the waterfall and rocks, I was won over by the small turtle sunning himself on a rock. As I painted, a young boy came over pulling his mother with him. "Look mommy. She's painting the turtle." The mom took my card and later that day contacted me to buy the painting.

She told me this story. It seems a few months before, her son had found the turtle on the tracks of the Enchanted Railroad (Yes, that is what they call the railroad that runs through the garden). The little boy picked up the turtle from the tracks just before the train came thus saving it's life. So I sold my painting and his mom and he have a wonderful memento to remember a special day when he saved the turtle from being squashed by the train.

Every trip, every painting has a story that is unique. For more information on Descanso Gardens click on the photo.

Photo by Jeff Allen, my husband.

Sunny Side

The original painting sold but you can buy a print of Sunny Side at Sharon Weaver: Fine Art America
The original painting sold but you can buy a print of Sunny Side at Sharon Weaver: Fine Art America | Source

Add a Pond to Your Garden

Benzara 98391 Large Walking Turtle Garden Decor Statue Sculpture 8"W
Benzara 98391 Large Walking Turtle Garden Decor Statue Sculpture 8"W

I have a metal turtle, lizard and frog sculptures in my garden. They keep each other company when I am not there.

 
10 LIGHT PINK LOTUS Water Lily Pad Nymphaea Sp Pond Flower Seeds *Comb S/H
10 LIGHT PINK LOTUS Water Lily Pad Nymphaea Sp Pond Flower Seeds *Comb S/H

What would your pond be without a lily pad. These are very pretty.

 
50 CATTAILS Cat Tails Typha Latifolia Water Pond Aquatic Grass Flower Seeds *Comb S/H
50 CATTAILS Cat Tails Typha Latifolia Water Pond Aquatic Grass Flower Seeds *Comb S/H

If you have water on your property, cat tails along the banks would add a wonderful place for the ducks to forage.

 

Have you a special garden that you love? - I hope you will share it here........

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    • Sharon Weaver profile image
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      Sharon Weaver 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      @CampingmanNW: Thanks. I am happy to have you read my article and thanks for the comment.

    • CampingmanNW profile image

      CampingmanNW 4 years ago

      Avery well written lens and much deserving of the Purple Star Award. Thank you for sharing.

    • Sharon Weaver profile image
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      Sharon Weaver 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      @LauraHofman: Glad I could spark those memories. Hope you have lots of wonderful gardens to visit where you are now. Thanks for stopping by.

    • LauraHofman profile image

      Laura Hofman 4 years ago from Naperville, IL

      What a thoroughly enjoyable lens! It brought back memories too...we used to live in So. California and I loved visiting the Huntington Botanical Gardens and Descanso Garden. Lovely presentation!

    • Sharon Weaver profile image
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      Sharon Weaver 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      @lionmom100: Huntington Gardens and Library is a lot to see in one day even when the weather is good. You will have to go back to see the gardens. Don't miss the lily ponds down the hill to the left after entering. The Japanese garden is to the right. Thanks for stopping by.

    • profile image

      lionmom100 4 years ago

      Sharon,

      I loved your presentation of some great LA gardens. Although I have lived in LA and have visited many places there, the only time I ever went to the Huntington Garden was when it was pouring rain. Darn it. I had to laugh at your Sharon Proof Plants addition. Yup! They are pretty hardy ones.

    • Sharon Weaver profile image
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      Sharon Weaver 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      @ConvenientCalendar: Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

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      ConvenientCalendar 4 years ago

      Great pictures! Great lens!

    • Sharon Weaver profile image
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      Sharon Weaver 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      @rainykua: Thanks but really that Sharon proof thing is no joke. I am tough on my plants. You can bring the outdoors in with house plants. Even with my garden I have a bunch too.

    • rainykua profile image

      rainykua 4 years ago

      "Plants that are Sharon proof" Lol

      i love your backyard. Too bad we can't have a garden at home since we live in an apartment. We do keep a couple of indoor plants though. Your paintings are amazing!

    • Sharon Weaver profile image
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      Sharon Weaver 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      @MarcellaCarlton: Thanks. I enjoy visiting all these wonderful places. Painting them is the icing on the cake.

    • Sharon Weaver profile image
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      Sharon Weaver 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      @FloridaDino: When you are painting gardens it is easy to have lovely paintings. Thank you for leaving a comment.

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      TheGardenGuys 4 years ago

      Great lens - nice big colorful pictures. Well done on a great lens and the purple star.

    • Sharon Weaver profile image
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      Sharon Weaver 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      @TheGardenGuys: Thank you for stopping by.

    • Sharon Weaver profile image
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      Sharon Weaver 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      @accfuller: Thank you for stopping by. This was a good year in the garden. Some are better than others.

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      MarcellaCarlton 4 years ago

      You are quite the artist. Love this lens and I love your painting.

    • FloridaDino profile image

      FloridaDino 4 years ago

      Lovely lens

    • accfuller profile image

      accfuller 4 years ago

      Beautiful! My garden is somewhat boring in comparison. I gave you a squid-like and a g+1 ... :)

    • Sharon Weaver profile image
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      Sharon Weaver 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      @Carol Houle: Hi and thanks. I thought that bird bath was so pretty too.

    • Sharon Weaver profile image
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      Sharon Weaver 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      @Rangoon House: Thank you. Being appreciated is always nice.

    • Carol Houle profile image

      Carol Houle 4 years ago from Montreal

      I really enjoyed your Garden Club lens and your paintings are lovely. Can't say I don't have my eye on that Ruby Pansy glass bird bath.

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 4 years ago from Australia

      Thank you for sharing such beautiful gardens and congratulations for being featured as a Squidoo inspirational gardener.

    • Sharon Weaver profile image
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      Sharon Weaver 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      @anonymous: Thank you. I am so happy you enjoyed it.

    • Sharon Weaver profile image
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      Sharon Weaver 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      @webmavern: Thank you for stopping by.

    • Sharon Weaver profile image
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      Sharon Weaver 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      @mrdata: Thank you. The trumpet vine is spectacular this year. I will have to add that.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Love this! Your paintings are so gorgeous. Hopefully someday I'll have a real garden that I love. Working on it!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I can see that you are inspired to paint beautiful garden sense. Very lovely paintings, and you lens is like a breath of fresh air. :)

    • profile image

      webmavern 4 years ago

      What a pretty lens! The gardens are lovely and your paintings are beautiful. Thanks for sharing with us!

    • mrdata profile image

      mrdata 4 years ago

      Landscaping is an art and thanks for sharing beautiful pictures with us! Congrats for your LOTD!

    • Sharon Weaver profile image
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      Sharon Weaver 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      @SusanDeppner: You are so right. A wonderful garden takes work.

    • Sharon Weaver profile image
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      Sharon Weaver 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      @mbgphoto: Thank you. Beautiful gardens are works of art in themselves.

    • Sharon Weaver profile image
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      Sharon Weaver 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      @lionmom100: Thank you. Me too. And if I could paint there, that would be amazing.

    • Sharon Weaver profile image
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      Sharon Weaver 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      @Elsie Hagley: Your garden sounds wonderful. I will take a look.

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 4 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      What a delightful lens. I agree gardens are very inspiring. I love your paintings!

    • profile image

      lionmom100 4 years ago

      A very nice lens. I would love to visit Givarny.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 4 years ago from New Zealand

      Nice lens, yes I do have a pond with a bridge over it, and be honest a nice garden. I have a lens about it.

      Like your paintings.

    • Sharon Weaver profile image
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      Sharon Weaver 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      @Rosanna Grace: Thank you. I love Japanese gardens too but have never painted there. Maybe I will add one to this lens when I do.

    • Rosanna Grace profile image

      Rosanna Grace 4 years ago

      I love to visit Japanese gardens. Your selection of gardens is wonderful too! :)