Gardening for me has always been not only both a joy and drudgery, but a way of life.On my parents small farm, with eleven mouths to feed, we desparately needed to grow our own food.
But there was great joy and satisfaction to the task. The garden was where I learned the uniqueness of each vegetable and weed, and my mother and elder brothers and sisters found unique ways to keep me and my younger brothers and sister engaged in the garden activities. We made forts out of the piles of weeds, had vegetable fights, and made masterpieces out of the mud between the rows. They were days of shared laughter and creativity.
Over the centuries gardening has inspired other creative endeavors, as I found in a recent article wherein a new exhibition explores the links between horticulture and high fashion. Just as gardening changed over the years so did our desire to be out in areas we had created not only for our viewing but eventually to imerse ourselves in. And if we we’re to be out galavanting among the flowers and thorny bushes we could hardly wear our prim hoop skirts and heavy coats. Clothing designers came up with multitudes of designs that captured the beauty of individual plants and allowed us to traverse and work amongst them.
Of course I never look beautiful when I’m out working in my garden. My gardening attire is about as drab as the clothing on this color pencil sketch of an old woman hoeing. It was drawn as I traveled the long train ride to Venice.