Dreams and Elderberries

There are a great many elderberries around at the moment, beautiful, shiny and resplendent. It is said that the elderberry is the Englishman's grape, not only is the fruit used but also the flowers make flavoured drinks. The illustration above is taken from "An Illustrated Address Book" and shows a corner of the first garden my husband and I ever owned.

I was reading on another blog, about dreams and the number seven; the house number was seventy seven which made the connection in my mind with painting. The garden was a typical terraced house garden, very long and narrow. At the end of garden was an allotment and tall elderberry bushes and hawthorn trees formed a hedge making the garden very private. A blackbird sang there in the evening, it was our little piece of heaven. I often dream that I am back in that house, the dream always follows the same pattern. I walk down the garden and discover outbuildings, rooms, extensions that I did not know I had. I make elaborate and exciting plans to transform these buildings into studios, guest rooms, potting sheds, all manner of things. I continue my journey down the garden and discover pathways, streams, ponds and lakes, sometimes I find the sea shore. When I wake I am always rather disappointed that these things do not actually exist, I could make such good use of all that space!

I read somewhere that dreaming of rooms means unfulfilled potential, I have no idea what the water connection is, perhaps someone can enlighten me?


  1. It is disappointing when you wake up from a dream that seemed so real and was filled with wonderful things.

    I often have vivid strange dreams and often fly in them. I seem to always be doing breaststroke in the air! :)
    I would love there to be a device that you could record dreams on film. What fun that would be!

    Lovely picture!

  2. Sounds like a lovely dream no wonder you are sometimes disappointed to wake and find it was just a dream. I've no idea what dreams mean - I used to have such vivid ones when I was younger, now I don't dream so much, but when I do I'm usually in houses without floors or a roof or with people I don't know wandering around. Or I'm holding on to my cats for dear life so that they don't get lost - anxiety I expect.

    I love the blackbird and elderberries - your former garden must have been lovely.

  3. What a pleasant and mysterious recurring dream! I'll get out my dream encyclopedia and be back soon...

  4. I cannot shed any light on your interesting dream as I have never been able to figure out my own. Yours sound like such a lovely dream that I would like to believe that it means something positive.

    Your picture is really lovely and it must of been wonderful to have that blackbird sing every evening in your garden. What's even more special is that you have a record of it in this beautiful picture.


  5. Perhaps it actually does exist, maybe in the next life. I often think about such things. I have dreamt through the years of certain streets, houses and gardens that I do not know and wondered if perhaps one day I shall. Sounds like a lovely dream.

    And the painting is so pretty! I love the blackbird singing in the evening.

  6. No idea about the water connection in your dream, Acornmoon, but love the sound of your house and absolutely love the elderberries. A few in an apple pie give it a nice flavour.

  7. Elderberries always remind me of the elderberry wine in "Arsenic and Old Lace"! They are such lovely berries, though. The drawing is so beautiful!

  8. Hello You !
    We can and we must dream in a life...
    Seven is a good number, yes...

    See You later.

  9. I have almost exactly the same recurring dream! It usually comes when I am feeling anxious - in fact, I think this is quite a common dream for artists to have, as I know other illustrators who have similar themed dreams - unexplored rooms, rooms in a house you didn't know about - mine are always about finding more space, and wondering (in my dreams) why I hadn't thought of using the rooms before, as in my dream I always knew they were there, I just hadn't utilised them. How interesting!

  10. Karen, my son has that dream, the sensation of flying. I had the same sensation once when meditating.

    Rosie and Gillian, my gardens always look nicer in my paintings than in real life. To tell you the truth, at the moment my garden is overgrown and in need of attention!

    PG, you have described exactly my dream, always I ask myself why I hadn't used that space, how fascinating!

    Thanks everyone as always for you comments, it's always lovely to read them.

  11. For years I would dream of a house that I knew every room and hallway. Alas I came upon this very house one day calling on a client.As soon as I entered the front hall I realized I had been here before. To this day it puzzles me.
    I can not believe that your dream means anything unfulfilled.The pictures created in your mind and then transfered to paper are charming and full of life.

  12. You capture the hedgerows so wonderfully in your paintings. And then you add the birds and animals, just lovely.
    How nice to capture a memory of your old garden in the painting.

  13. The water is the pathways in your life, opportunities if you like. I would interpret this as a sign of forthcoming good things to come, a blossoming into a new level of your wonderful art.

  14. Me too! To find a room in my house after all these years...well it's such an incredible feeling!
    And always I'm so disappointed to wake up.

    What a gorgeous blackbird. We have a real blackbird theme in our house as my husband did a series of blackbird paintings a while back and they crept into our decor.

    Thanks for sharing. :-)

  15. If you're looking to share inspiration, it sure worked with me. Thanks for letting me know that there are so many creative people out there doing such beautiful work!


  16. Hello Valerie,
    Thank you for visiting my blog recently. I found yours sometime back and have been visiting for several weeks now and am awed by your work. When I get to your blog and see your latest art I usually just simply say "Wow" and stare. It's truly beautiful... magical.

  17. Water often denotes life,going with the flow. Finding new rooms can also indicate new projects or directions in life.
    I have enjoyed your blog and art work.