There are three things I love to do probably more than anything else: Write, garden, and quilt. Over the years I’ve done the first two quite a bit. Quilting has recently become the third love in my creative bent. But gardening and writing have always been at the front.
My gardens, while they have won an award, are not always picture perfect. They have weeds and flaws, but they give me great comfort, inspiration, and satisfaction. Much like I expect your gardens do for you. I have even been known to gasp at gardens I’ve seen in movies, gasping so loud in admiration that my best friend and husband sitting beside me laughed at my response. Gardens–public or private, mine, yours and everyone else’s–will always make me stop and look. I even ooh and aww over a well-designed flowerpot.
As a young woman I would pore over my aunt’s plant catalogues for hours at a time, dreaming of fields of flowers. I have fond memories of my grandmother’s fenced-in vegetable garden in rural Kentucky where she grew everything she needed to can for long, snowy winters when fresh food was scarce. I can still taste her navy bean soup and smell the blackberry jam she put up every summer. And I was often in the garden with my mother as she tended her flowers and vegetables. Every place I’ve ever lived has had flowers or veggies of some sort in the yards or flowerpots. Gardening is a given for me as much as writing. Neither one can be separated from my heart and soul.
Recently, I ran across a book called The Writer’s Garden: How Gardens Inspired our Best-loved Authors by Jackie Bennett and Richard Hanson.
In the book, the authors examine how nineteen well-known British writers such as Jane Austen, Beatrice Potter, Sir Walter Scott, William Wadsworth and others drew inspiration from gardens, how they tended and enjoyed them, and how they managed their outdoor space.
The idea spurred me to create a new feature for my Through the Garden Gate series, showcasing the gardens of fellow gardeners who happen to be writers. The posts will highlight gardener-writers who may not have reached best-selling acclaim, but love their little patches of Eden or gardens in general. After all, one doesn’t have to be an acclaimed author, like those in the above-mentioned book, to find inspiration among the flowers, vegetables, birds, bees and weeds.
To begin the series, I’ll be talking about my own garden. If you’re a gardener, who is also a writer, or a writer who is also a gardener, and you’d like to be featured on my series, please contact me through the contact page on this blog.
In the meantime, starting next Thursday, I hope you’ll enjoy the posts about my garden and the gardens of my guest bloggers, and how gardening and gardens inspire us.
To view additional garden posts on this blog search for the category Through the Garden Gates.