Alison Jane Harley

- botanical and floral artist -

Filoli

12 April 2017

For a garden lover and botanical artist, a visit to California wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the gardens at Filoli. What a feast for the eyes, it was just beautiful – everywhere. The sun was shining and colours and scent burst from every border – it was like walking through a watercolour dream. An explosion of tulips stopped me in my tracks and I just had to get my sketchbook out. Imagine being able to say ‘Oh I popped into Filoli to do some sketching’. Well … I did just that. Being midway through RBGE’s diploma in Botanical Illustration I felt a bit exposed and self conscious, so that when a lovely lady looked over my shoulder and asked if I was a botanical artist – I was overcome with ‘imposter syndrome’ and mumbled something about just liking to sketch. I could have opened up a conversation and may have discovered she was California’s greatest botanical illustrator ..but I didn’t so she may have been. I don’t know who she was, but she was very nice. Anyway I did happily produce a little sketch.

Another exquisite sight and smell was the long avenue of white, lilac and pink wisteria.

I think I must have sighed blissfully at almost every corner I turned in this wonderful haven. One day was not enough for this visit – I could have happy spent a week here.

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