Thinking of Gardens

Five years ago, I used National Poetry Month as a personal challenge to write a poem a day. My theme was “Garden.”

I wrote about things growing (or not), about wildness, successes and pitfalls, about the wonder of seeds and the delight of putting food I’d grown onto my plate. When the opportunity came to study again with Gail Harker in a class focused on creating books, I began formulating the idea of an illustrated version of this collection of poems.

Our family and the world both have undergone many changes since I began that project, but here are some key points I’ve come to in the process of continuing to work toward a finished collection.

  • The themes I’ve found myself digging into are much bigger than simply what I grow and my thoughts about my garden. There’s definitely more to share about that. 
  • I garden organically and have worked to limit plastics in our lives as I’m able. I made a commitment to myself to use plastic free media as much as possible in creating the art for this project. This has led to some interesting rabbit holes and different approaches to certain pieces.
  • While I designed the project as one book/collection originally, exploring an array of layouts, media and styles has led me to envision a collection in a variety of formats, with ideas for both hand-bound and traditional print/digital works. 
  • Gardens are important: for building and feeding communities, for teaching children, for the health of soil biomes, for discovering and nurturing a richness and diversity of foods and foodways, and for honoring food sovereignty.

Let me know your thoughts on gardens. Have you grown a garden? If so, what successes or struggles have you discovered along the way?

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About vst3in

I am a writer, avid reader, birder, food preserver, and retired school library lady. I love colors and textures looking for them in the world around me. I'm working on a historical novel and reading lots of books for young people. I'm working to stay strong into my senior years, and I sail with my husband. This blog contains thoughts about all these things.
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2 Responses to Thinking of Gardens

  1. Kathy Nall says:

    Hello! I’m trying to find a way to connect with you about your felting way back in 2015 with Karollina. Do you have any more pictures? I’ve encouraged her so many times to come back to the USA and teach a class or do an online class. Learning to make one of her felted pieces is my dream. I did take a rug making class in Coupeville which I LOVED! I enjoyed reading your other blogs as well. I live in Florida. Thanks, Blessings! Kathy

    • vst3in says:

      Hi, Kathy, I really have very few pictures from that class – I was in the middle of taking on fulltime care for my ailing mother-in-law so that 5 days was my last hurrah for a long time. I don’t have any more info about what Karollina is doing these days, but I think they were focused on activities closer to home. That class was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me, for sure! Joint issues have limited my felting severely in the last few years. Thanks for reading my blog!

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