Janni the Garden Whisperer
Gardens, Music & Gratitude
I feel very fortunate to have found in my life, two fulfilling paths to joy. The joy of designing gardens and the joy of creating music. Each of these is a perfect balance for the other, and the two are really not so different.
When I design, I am aware that I am in a creative partnership with the elements I am working with, the people I am designing for, and in a deep connection to spirit and nature.
Sometimes designing may mean drawing something out of thin air, but most often, it is simply a matter of soft-focusing on what already exists, imagining and allowing for what can be, and most important of all, listening deeply.
Since childhood, I've had a penchant for sensing the invisible and bringing it into form. Dreaming Into Being is what I call it. I believe we all do this, whether we are aware of it or not.
In my estimation this is what creativity is; one~third talent (merit), one~third inspiration (grace), and one~third chance (flying by the seat of one's pants). This is my recipe for creativity.
Growing up in California, my wonderful father was an artist, a bonsai gardener and a passionate tree and plant collector. Although he was not schooled in architecture, he designed our family home, inspired in part by the beautiful work of Frank Lloyd Wright.
My lovely mother gave up a scholarship for fashion design in Europe to become a teacher. She told me it was her true calling and she had never looked back.
A passionate advocate of reading and education, she raised funds to start a library in the elementary school where she taught, to put books into the hands of children who could not afford them at home.
She also had an extraordinary green thumb, once growing a rose bush sprouted from a long stemmed florist's rose she had placed in water in a bottle on the windowsill of our kitchen.
They each instilled in me a deep reverence and love for nature. Our home and garden was an inspiring, creative and supportive place to grow and learn.
My early studies were in art and design, and in the last two decades, my studies have been in garden design, ornamental horticulture, as well as the study of native plants and their reintroduction into the landscape.
As an ever continuing student of horticulture, I am intensely interested in green roofs and living architecture, in the creation of wildlife corridors of native hedgerows in urban landscapes, and in different methods of pesticide-free, organic, sustainable gardening. All of these, firmly rooted in my passionate love for plants, botanic environments and garden design.
Living now for the second time in my life in lovely Tennessee, I feel I am home. The land here speaks to me in dogwood, peony and lilac blossoms, in fireflies and ruby red cardinals, in rivers and creeks and green parklands, and in the gentle, welcoming nature of the people who grew up here, or like myself, have been drawn to live here.
For most of my adult life, I have also been a composer, songwriter, musician and vocalist. I travel to Scandinavia each year in late summer to perform with my Swedish acoustic trio, True North, to co-write songs, visit friends and family, study gardens, and give Fairy Garden workshops.
I offer this video from my solo album, Strange Angels, as a glimpse into the other path that I follow. The video was created by Maxwell Rowe and Jack Harrison and filmed in the garden I designed at my former home in Carmel Valley, California.
I so look forward to working with you and creating beauty together!