Gardens of the Italian Renaissance first found their role as a place for spiritual retreat and were often adjacent to holy sites such as churches. As ideas of the period moved away from religion and looked to new philosophies such as humanism, the garden became the theater for leisure entertainment of elite classes. Much like traditional portraiture, which flourished in the 1500s, the garden embodied its owner’s qualities and became a place of personal retreat and reflection. Through this curation of nature, the garden becomes a self-portrait. This work explores my own relationship to nature and my need for retreat. The craft process of making flowers is equally important as the concepts behind my work. The repetitious and rhythmic action calls forward an internal dialog, the subconscious if you will. The action becomes a place for contemplation much like the garden. Each flower becomes an individual thought.