In July I paid a visit to The Untroubled Sound, Arty Skytower’s beautiful region modelled after New Zealand’s Marlborough Sounds. It’s a popular destination for SL photographers, and rightly so.
As a result of my visit, Arty dropped me a line inviting me to take a look at another region he’s been developing, the Artist’s Garden SL Botanicals New Zealand Bush Walk. It’s another beautiful place, a landscaped coastal region with paths and walks which allow Arty to demonstrate his range of New Zealand focused flora and his landscape accessories.
You arrive on wooden walkway which follows the coast of a bay, leading back to a white-boarded house in one direction, and in the other, onwards around a headland to a small beach area, before allowing visitors to explore onwards around the island.
There are some remarkable examples of New Zealand flora to be seen here; everything from plants through to trees (I love the Pohutukawa tree on a rock), any of which can be purchased via the packing cases you’ll encounter as you explore.
Follow the paths around the island and you’ll find much to delight; places to sit, places to watch the world go by, and places to simply enjoy your surroundings, including a delightful central garden area with a large body of water for the local ducks to enjoy. I do recommend that when exploring, you have in-world sounds enabled; there is a wonderful soundscape to accompany the region.
It’s in the garden, located behind the main house, that artwork by FumbleBee (RL artist Janet Marshall) can be found. These are paintings of various scenes from England’s Cornwall, and which are also available for purchase. Inside the house itself are more examples of Arty’s flora and displays of Fumblebee’s art – stunning studies of birds native to New Zealand.
Those who have visited The Untroubled Sound will find much that is familiar here; the region appears to be in a coastal sound, boats are present, both tied-up at the quay or anchored in the bay. There are similar waterfront elements with paths, the house and style of sim surround. But this is not to say the Artist’s Garden is merely a copy of The Untroubled Sound; far from it.
By using similar elements and style, Arty and FumbleBee have created a somewhere which feels as if it is a part of the same landscape as The Untroubled Sound; that if you were to cross the water and follow the coast around the high, rugged hills surrounding the place, you’d eventually find your way into another drowned valley – and to The Untroubled Sound itself. This feeling of continuity between the two does much to lend them to a side-by-side visit if you’ve never been to either.
For the SL photographer, the region offer as many opportunities as The Untroubled Sound. Arty has supplied the region with a foggy default windlight, suggestive of an autumnal evening, but the region lends itself to a huge number of windlight options, while the sim surround positively invites tweaking the cloud coverage and planning with different windlight options to invoke different moods.
All-in-all another worthwhile destination which comes highly recommended. Enjoy!