“The garden suggests there might be a place where we can meet nature halfway”— Michael Pollan
Inspiration, joy and wonder all live within its perimeter. It’s a magical place. A place of solitude where you are never alone. A place of beauty intricately connected to death and decay. A bundle of stunning contradictions. It is a garden.
I think of a garden, any garden, as a transitional space shared between humans and the natural world. As Michael Pollan pointed out, gardens can teach us how to understand nature better. They are pint size expressions of our larger environment. Small oasis where we can relax, learn, observe and enjoy.
As such, they have become vital in turning the tides on the impending ecological disaster. We can help pollinators, shelter birds, protect insects and amphibians with little effort on our part. We can all lend a hand and make our planet a healthier place one small garden at a time. There is so much magic and activity in the garden that we can’t even see! So much happens in a home garden unbeknown to us! Sometimes, all we need to do is not intervene and let nature flourish and do what it does best: regulate itself.
That's why my style of gardening is not based on heavy handed landscaping, eradicating critters and subjugating plants that thrive but aren’t decorative. I prefer gardening for wildlife, with an emphasis on water conservation and soil health. I don’t use pesticides. Instead I rely on a strong and well populated food chain that keeps everything in perfect balance. Nothing goes to waste. The garden is in a perpetual state of evolution towards homeostasis. I just go along for the ride.
My collages borrow the colors and shapes of the garden. The oranges and pinks of the zinnias. The gentle white cosmos swaying over the grass. The red poppies punctuating both sides of the driveway. All my senses are stimulated by the activity in the garden. I see birds flying overhead, red squirrels scampering through the branches and fireflies twinkling over the stream at night. I reimagine these elements into collages and create from a place of gratitude.