There is a natural syncronicity between art and gardens, although it is often hard won. Garden design is, after all, the ultimate in landscape painting – the hands-on application of colour to living canvas. Many artists create gardens, drawn by the tension between wildness and nature, the colours and forms, sometimes as creation in itself, sometimes as inspiration.

Perhaps the most widely known is Monet, who created the landscapes at his garden in Giverny that would inspire his paintings, digging out the pond whose reflections would produce two decades of Water Lilies.

But there are plenty of other artists elsewhere equally inspired. In Mexico City, Frida Kahlo packed plants into every niche of the courtyard and garden of her Casa Azul, cramming

the old 19th-century European-style planting with cactus, prickly pear

and sculpture. In Dungeness on the Kent coast, Derek Jarman dug a garden into the shingle, watching the plants struggle and thrive in spite of the wind at Prospect Cottage.

Here in Scotland, I once interviewed an Edinburgh-based artist whose studio window looked out on her carefully planted, formal back

garden, its beds full of wild and

native plants with curious forms, seedheads and structure, all used

in her unstinting and equally

fastidious work.

On the other side of the Forth, and the subject of this new Summerhall exhibition, are Liz and Dawson Murray, whose north Fife garden,

built up over two decades, has inspired and been inspired by much of their

own work.

The two artists, married for some 50 years, work in very different disciplines but are united by this one passion, the subject of The Romance of the Garden.

This is a three-room installation in the old Dick Vet building at the east end

of the Meadows in Edinburgh,

high-ceilinged, slightly institutional,

and very much not a white cube. Dawson Murray’s vibrant watercolours and prints dominate the first few rooms, striations of vivid colour alternating with murkier greens.

The effect is both abstract and impressionist at the same time, rather like looking over a perennial bed in full flower, eyes half shut.

An imagining of plant life, an interpretation of form. There are indications of boundaries, of borders, of hints of plant forms, of shape and texture – a Giverny of light-saturated foliage, easy on the eye.

Dawson Murray has been a lifelong watercolourist after his formative training at Glasgow School of Art

in the 1960s and much time spent

in Italy. And yet his multiple sclerosis has increasingly added challenges which he has met – to the outward

eye – with a determination that has withstood all the unpredictable vagaries of the disease.

Now unable to use his hands to paint, Murray has begun to paint

using the motion of his eyes with

the help of a sensor which he has helped develop, a staggering technology, and yet more staggering use of it. You do not need to know

this to appreciate Murray’s prints,

or appreciate its skill, but it is certainly a wonderful thing.

In a narrow room beyond, Liz Murray, who trained at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in the 1960s, mounts her own miniature installation of a life never lived – for her intricate work is a made-up world of botanical adventuring, an exhibition of collages and mixed media works here built around a fictional French plant collector, a 19th-century one assumes, who works in Paris’s (non-fictional) Jardin des Plantes, moonlights at Kew, and takes himself off on plant-hunting trips around the world.

Murray compiles detailed snapshots of fictional plants, filling paper bags with samples and sketches, working up a world with a backstory, and while I was not always convinced about the reasoning, the whole is very well executed.

There is more art going on, as ever, off the long hallways of Summerhall. Next door, Mark Pulsford reimagines Tintoretto in a blur of pastel and charcoal, whilst upstairs the Visual Arts Scotland showcase of graduate work is very well worth a look.

Downstairs, Fritz Welch makes work for the space in the basement, although it was off limits during my visit due to installations going on for the new batch of summer shows.

The Romance of the Garden: Fragments and Memories, Summerhall, Summerhall Place, Edinburgh, 0131 560 1580, Until 13 Jul, Tue-Sun, 11am-6pm

Critics Choice:

Finding your way around a degree show in any normal year is discombobulating enough – and that’s before you get to the myriad concepts and aesthetics on display in the final year installations themselves – but when the builders are in, as they are at Edinburgh College of Art, it starts to become a little Kafkaesque.

This year’s Fine Art degree show – elsewhere do not miss the Architecture, Design or the Applied Arts degree shows in this final weekend of Edinburgh’s show - is the usual ever-expanding platform of disciplines, from the age-old Drawing, Painting and Sculpture to the nebulous Intermedia, although on this showing of cross-disciplinary work, you could be forgiven for thinking it is all intermedia now. This year’s show is something of a mixed bag, with some excellent work alongside a number of perhaps muddied concepts, tableaux and mini-worlds, aswell as a certain homogeneity of aesthetic in places, sometimes masking the thinking going on behind the work.

I liked Jack Handscombe’s (Fine Art MA) gothic sandcastles, large-scale neo-gothic turrets looming out of a tower of sand, and his play on Blake, Newton and Paolozzi – a figure in full racing driver kit hunched over a laptop, with a forest of bamboo sprouting out of his back, as if he had been there for a very long time. Taylor Shaw’s (Sculpture BA) video of someone karate-kicking a block of clay into shape brought a welcome laugh. Katherine Russell’s (Sculpture BA) un-functional functional ceramics were also well done. And amongst all the miniature world scenarios, Jessica Gasson’s (MAFA Fine Art) was the most polished, an atmospheric dark room archive of cast moths and fragile fragments, displayed in museum cases, with bat flight patterns engraved, white on black, in panels in the darkened room next door.

Edinburgh College of Art Degree Show: Fine Art, Edinburgh College of Art, 74 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh, 0131 651 5800,, Until Sun 10 Jun, Sat and Sun, 11am – 5pm

Don't miss:

Tim Taylor, a moonlighting architect, or moonlighting artist, depending on which day you happen to catch him, presents his Sacred Vessels, a series of 52 matchstick-models of water towers whose forms are taken in exacting detail from the seminal black and white photographs of Bernd and Hilla Becher. The models themselves are exquisite, fascinating things, miniature insights into the world of the Becher's Wasserturme, into the curiosities of the structures created to hold one of our most vital elements, Two new video works are also shown, centred around water leakage and its status as a primal element.

Tim Taylor: Sacred Vessels, Custom Lane, 67 Commercial Street, Leith, 0131 510 7571, Until 24 Jun, Mon - Sat, 10am - 5pm, Sun 11am - 4pm