Gardening and art always invite me to be in the present moment. Hours pass without ever knowing how long I have been working. In the latest painting of my most recent series, The View From Here #4: The Garden Wall (Oil on canvas 40x30 inches), I used a number of different shaped palette knives and a brush. The repeating short strokes became a meditation practice very similar to raking leaves.
When I stepped back to look at my finished piece, my thoughts went to “Where is the gardener?” In this case, the gardener stepped back to enjoy the view. But there certainly are not as many people gardening as there used to be. Passing down gardening knowledge from generation to generation is rare.
When I chose to start a garden, there was no one in my family to teach me. I relied on books and the internet to make sense of my many failures. Little by little, I found other novices who were also struggling, and we solved problems together. This process continued for ten years, building on failures and successes.
For a while now, I’ve wanted to pass my skills on to someone in my family, but it seemed no one was interested. My kids grew up and got busy with life. A year ago, my daughter was preparing to move into a new home with a big yard, and her call came quite unexpectedly. “Mom! I need help building garden boxes!” she said.
Handing down skills and knowledge to the next generation has started. My grandsons are watching and learning. Gardeners are entering the garden once again, and I feel proud!