I couldn’t think of a subject for a new post, so posed the question (to myself), “What have you been thinking about?” I’m in a making cycle, bisqued last weekend, glazed all week for upcoming deadlines and commissions leading up to another firing, and have some new, big ideas, but what I’m really thinking about is my garden.
First Row: Agastache, Allium, Allium bulgaricum, and Astilbe
Second: Baptisia, Barberry, Bugbane, and Dianthus
I love flowers and trees, learning new things and being outside, but when we bought our home almost four years ago, my thumbs all but turned green. My Great Grandma, Grandpa and Dad were each avid gardeners (veggies and flowers), and I enjoy the feeling that I am continuing a family tradition in some small way. Other than the gorgeous results and insects and birds the perennials attract, my favorite part is the escapism. All I think about when I garden is the activity itself and “Ooooo, pretty, pretty.”
First ro: Red-twig Dogwood, Echinacea, Blue Fescue and Fox glove
Second: Geranium, Hellebore, Heuchera bloom and Red-leaf Heuchera
I have discovered that I garden the same way I make pots: research and preparation balanced with a healthy dose of impatience and stubbornness. I wound up having little interest in planning, mostly choosing and placing plants together based on color, contrast and shape. As an artist, I seem to be drawn to unusual colors (loving deep purple and bronzed–leaf plants, for example, next to the chartreuse and limes), odd shapes (alliums and lupines) and rich textures. Gardening is the quintessential 3D design experience for me.
First row: Hostas, Pee-gee Hydrangea, Lupine flowers and Lupine leaves
Second: Japanese maple, Pentsemon, Sedum and Switchgrass
One of my goals with the garden—other than mental relaxation—was to attract butterflies and birds. I become giddy (yes, giddy) as new blooms bring big, clumsy bumblebees, darting ruby-throated hummingbirds, waves of monarchs, lazy tiger swallowtails and lone hummingbird moths (the insect I had never seen before having this garden). Because the garden is so close to the house, lining the entire front porch, I can stand at the door in the morning when I brush my teeth, or sit out there in the evening with a glass of wine in hand, surveying the scene.
All this happiness certainly feeds my studio time, and I’m definitely aware of wanting my slip-trailed shapes to be outlined like an astilbe leaf, a glaze the color of a penstemon leaf, a stamp the radiating shape of a lupine leaf with droplets of water, a vase shaped like the waterfalling grass…
All images courtesy of my garden.