A Garden Lovely Enough to Inspire Art by

Issue 70 · Spring Fling · May 2, 2013

A Garden Lovely Enough to Inspire Art

Issue 70 · Spring Fling · May 2, 2013

When Frances Palmer walks out the door of her barn and potter's studio in Weston, Connecticut, the first thing she sees is her garden, 50 feet in diameter, fenced against the deer—with great success—and crisscrossed by pebble paths that crunch satisfyingly underfoot.

"A garden is a process of planting and nurturing and is similar to making a pot," says Ms. Palmer, who has been making hand thrown ceramic pieces for more than 25 years. "There is a transformation in the garden and in the kiln that is without my control. This appeals to me, because you have to step back and let go—as a gardener and an artist."

Photographs by Katharine Huber.

Above: The entry gate to the garden where Ms. Palmer grows cutting flowers: tulips and daffodils in early spring; roses and bearded irises in late May; poppies, clematis, and lilies in early summer; zinnias, dahlias, bachelor's buttons, cosmos, and sweet peas in summer, and anemones and sunflowers into the fall.

Above: A tangle of peonies.

Above: Rhododendrons, hostas, and peonies grow against the walls of Ms. Palmer's studio.

Above: Peonies, one of Ms. Palmer's preferred cutting flowers.

Above: Still life, with Ms. Palmer's large white earthenware footed bowl and her paper bag vases filled with garden flowers. A Paper Bag Vase, 6.5 inches high, is $225 and a similar Baroque Pedestal bowl, 10 inches high, is $895 from Frances Palmer Pottery.

Above: Palmer's real passion is dahlias; more than a hundred varieties, labeled on stakes, bloom each summer.

Above: An outbuilding sits near Palmer's studio. Inside, a high heat gas kiln is used to fire porcelain pottery and glazes that require temperatures as high as 2300 degrees F. (N.B.: To tour Ms. Palmer's studio, see House Call: Frances Palmer, Potter.)

N.B.: This is an update of a post originally published April 15, 2012.

 



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