My friend, the photographer Valari Jack, who has moved with her husband, photographer Richard Varnes, to Bellingham, Washington, came for a visit in late July. We spent the afternoon taking tea in the garden, laughing and chatting, and after she returned home, she sent these photos, for which I am immensely grateful.

Valari my garden 1

Indeed, Valari took the cover photo for this blog (she is credited in the About page), long ago. I wanted badly to use the image as a cover for my book The Echoing Green: The Garden in Myth and Memory, but the marketing folk at Penguin thought otherwise. Nevertheless, we slipped it into the text, but it wasn’t as gloriously displayed as it should have been.

Garden photo nightgown goddess[2]

Then I used it as the cover for a collection I edited called Uncontained: Writers and Photographers in the Garden and the Margins. Take THAT, Penguin! The photo has gotten around, and I never, ever get tired of it. It embodies all the mystery, mythos and magic I find and love in the garden.

To think that was more than fifteen years ago. Val took other wonderful shots back then of my garden, but that was before digital photography, so I’ll have to scan them. I will…soon.

Valari my garden 2