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A View from The Bothy...

Painting by Numbers?

Depending on who you believe, it is said that the American inventor and businessman Thomas Edison claimed that success was 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration.

And he may well have been right, even though there are several variations on that quote, questioning the percentages and whether it was success or genius. But for now, as it serves a purpose, we’ll leave it as it is…

So, we start off with inspiration, and after all the hard work (which may involve perspiration) we have a finished result. But is it what you were hoping for?

When working from drawings, it’s important to have a vision of how your project will look when it’s completed. But do we always go that bit further and imagine how it will look in the future?

We can sometimes lose sight of this when the going gets tough and the race against a deadline or the weather (or both) can mean that we end up getting things done as quickly as possible to keep the client happy.

When we plant things, we want them to grow, that’s fundamental. But ask yourself, are you ‘painting by numbers’ or creating a work of art that will evolve and be enjoyed for generations to come?

With this in mind, it’s a good idea to try to take some time out to visit a ‘mature’ garden, such as that at Great Dixter in East Sussex, designed in the Arts and Crafts style in the early 1900s by Nathaniel Lloyd and Edward Lutyens. The garden has been described as structured yet profuse, with Lloyds’ writer son Christopher taking over the reins mid-century.

Of course, we’re not suggesting that you should attempt to re-create a fledgling Great Dixter as your next project. But taking a break to seek inspiration while walking around in breathtakingly beautiful surroundings is always going to be good for the soul.