Were I to ask you which of three wallpaper patterns appealed to you the most, or which person you have most patterned your life after, you would have no problem understanding and answering the questions. A written definition of pattern is not this easy. A paisley is a shape that is readily recognizable; a series of paisley shapes, that repeat in a certain order, that the eye can recognize, forms a pattern. My steel grate plant table tops, dusted with snow, bring the pattern of the extruded metal into focus.
Many patterns exist in nature; early winter may be the best time to study them. The oval shaped dried flower heads of these hydrangeas make a visual pattern that repeats. They remind me of the old boxwoods at Dunbarton oaks that are pruned to resemble clouds. Cloud pruning is a gardening term gardeners recognize; the particular shaping and direction taken by an individual gardener makes a pattern. A distinctive pattern.
Milo has a ball decorated with raised dots in an all over pattern. An all over pattern reads the same regularly, no matter what direction your view should take. There is no left or right, no up or down. The pattern of this light snow is very subtle; every diaphanous flake randomly covers the gravel in the drive. Nonetheless, the individual flakes make a pattern-a pattern I did not really pay attention to, until I saw the imprint of the ball dots-so regular and clear. The relationship of what came from the sky, with the pattern evidenced by that manufactured ball of his-on my mind today.
Individual lengths of grapevine make random patterns. Woven into a wreath shape, the circular pattern comes to the visual fore. It is on my mind today that natural random patterns in the landscape are subtle, graceful, rhythmic-you understand-natural. There is reward to taking the time to see nature’s patterns. How people pattern things is more hands on- orderly, more clear, sometimes too self conscious. Which is more beautiful-the grapevine run wild on my fence, or this gorgeous wreath? The answer has everything to do with a point of view, and nothing to do with the truth. What moves you?
This wreath is comprised of small flower shapes constructed from wood shavings, twig stubs, and dried bay leaves. The pattern, to my eye, is all about the circle, repeating. A wreath is an ornament; the arrangement of organized shapes makes for a pattern. When I see pattern, I am at my most focused.
The regular repetition of a shape makes a pattern that pleases my eye. This gridded metal table has a cleanly contemporary pattern. Horizontal and vertical lines meeting make for stable shapes, and strikingly clean patterns. A classic X pattern trellis is a much more traditional look. Certain patterns have much history attached to them. Creating pattern that throws off history, definition, and any resulting cursory nod from an audience-designers of gardens, landscapes, fabrics, music, interiors, buildings, cars, ornament-anyone who designs spends time here.
Early winter is the perfect time to think about pattern. The snow, the cold, and the low light, the absence of leaves and flowers that blur the patterns, presents me with a landscape graphically black and white. Now is the best time to see patterns. RobB just forwarded me a post from A Way to Garden (awaytogarden.com)-a doodle by Andre. His idea-to send a card to his garden. Thank you for all you have done for me, beloved garden. That post, and his card has been on my mind all day. My garden gives me so much; this quiet time gives me plenty of time to think about this. Though some years ago I was certain my gardening ended with the first killing frost-now I know different. These first early snows come with lively lessons, debate, original source material; I know to pay attention. Who knew there was so much to see, and think about in late December? I am looking, and listening. December-I welcome it. No kidding.