With the classic English countryside in mind from the Woolf texts I’ve been immersed in, I took a trip with my artist mother to Samares Manor in St. Clement. The botanic gardens display an array of herbs, wild flowers, lakes and flowers which were perfect for different types of observational drawing.
The medicinal herbs were really interesting as I was not aware of the traditional remedies these plants are thought to be. In particular, I looked for herbs that had benefits for mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, with Woolf’s known mental health issues in mind. Perhaps she may have tried some of these in the battle for a more positive mindset.
There were some great scenes of weeping willows draping over moss-covered pools, which reminded me of the rivers that played a big part in both Woolf’s real life and the fictional stories she penned. I did a few mixed media paintings whilst at the gardens, in addition to my iPhone photographs which I intend to work from later, that gave me a great feeling for the type of scenes that may have inspired Woolf throughout her life, especially in the Bloomsbury group.
Below are further photographs from around the grounds and herb gardens…