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Little Yellow Couch

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A Garden Inspired by Music

Do You See What I Hear?

by Wendy Lane Bailey

Note to our readers: Play this video and listen to the music as you read the post for optimum blog experience!  --KJ & Z

When Karen and Zandra told me they had chosen "Flora & Fauna" for their May theme, I realized I must begin my first ever Little Yellow Couch post with a confession.  I, Wendy Lane Bailey, am a notorious plant killer. My son, the Child Usually Known as Spawn, once ordered me to put down a flat of African Violets whose leaves were trembling because, “Obviously, Mom, they know who you are.” So, it was with some trepidation and much chortling on the part of Spouse and Spawn that I approached my first assignment.

Toronto Music Garden, photo courtesy Harbourfront Centre, Toronto, Canada

Toronto Music Garden, photo courtesy Harbourfront Centre, Toronto, Canada

As I looked into the ways flowers have inspired music (and also the other way around), I was thrilled to discover the Toronto Music Garden. The garden was designed by cellist Yo-Yo Ma and landscape architect Julie Moir Messervy to be a visual representation of Bach’s Suite No. 1 in G Major for unaccompanied cello, BWV 1007. Lightning struck, and my brain was abuzz with ideas for translating the aural experience of listening to a piece of music into a visual one with plants.

Toronoto Music Garden, photo courtesy Harbourfront Centre, Toronto, Canada

Toronoto Music Garden, photo courtesy Harbourfront Centre, Toronto, Canada

I began by thinking of a piece of music, and then asking myself what story it was trying to tell and how would I express it through flora & fauna?  Admittedly, the first thought that flitted through my head, The Rolling Stones’ Paint it Black, was a snarky reaction to my lack of gardening prowess. But as I thought about it, I realized how cool that could actually be with Black Calla Lilies, and orchids, blood red roses, Queen of the Night tulips (for the opera lovers), Hellebore, and Black Velvet Petunias with a few Cher (yes, named for THAT Cher) Irises thrown in for good measure. Even if I can’t personally grow all these things I can find them at some of my local flower shops and make a gorgeous arrangement. Add a few of my favorite Voluspa Makasar Ebony and Peach candles, and I’m all set for the perfect evening in with friends, food, and tunes.

We are happy to introduce singer Wendy Lane Bailey as a new guest blogger for Little Yellow Couch.  Wendy will be offering her thoughts on how music intersects with our theme each month.  We encourage you to check out her website where you can listen in on her recordings!  

xoxo Karen June & Zandra

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Little Yellow Couch

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