Francis Bacon declared the garden “the purest of human pleasures”. To delight in nature and organise some small part of it has been seen through the ages as a godly pursuit. “Bread feeds the body, indeed, but flowers feed also the soul”, says the Koran. Even among the secular gardening is revered :“The best thing one can do is to cultivate one's garden.” – Voltaire.
For artists flowers have provided unlimited inspiration – from the religious or moral symbolism of the 17th century Dutch and Flemish artists to the impressionists and Monet's sensuous immersion in a moment.
A beautiful printed floral design on a perfectly matched cloth engages the eye and leads it effortlessly through a series of spaces, stopping from time to time, bending this way and that – tracing and moving through the repeat, enjoying the chance to freewheel and explore. It provides a route towards reflection and an opportunity to find, in this utterly private reflection, a transformational aesthetic experience. The aesthetic is crucial to our wellbeing: we have all had our breath taken away by the sheer beauty of a landscape, a satisfying planting, a perfect fabric, poem or piece of music. This response to beauty is at the heart of our emotional health, allowing us to withdraw from the purely intellectual.
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