I've got a garden that I love, and I've had it for three years now. It's a bit of a mess; I can't remember half of what I've planted, and that's assuming that I knew half of the plants' names to begin with. Everything is just getting ready to bloom, which is the most exciting part to me.

My sunflower wants to bloom.

There were several years when I couldn't have a garden. If I was lucky I had a few container plants and pots of herbs. Whenever I didn't have a proper garden, most of my free time was spent reading about how to grow plants and planning my future, overly ambitious garden. Optimism was at its peak. My potted plants had varying degrees of success, but they usually left this world by the end of the summer.

A sketch of thyme from my container garden.

Reading and learning, hoping and envying, planning - all of it's all right, but those things are no substitute for doing all the things I've been reading about. Nothing will teach you about growing plants quite like having a garden, and that's true of anything. This week has been overwhelming, but then, nothing teaches you about life quite like living it.

And these are just the books I bought.

I'm now at a place where there are a lot of potential crossroads. I've been reading and planning for how to be any number of things, whether it's how to be a successful, full-time artist, entrepreneur, or turning into a real live farmer instead of the amateur gardener that I am. Reading, research, and planning have given me all I can get at this point. Even though I'm ready to jump right in, I definitely don't feel ready.

A sketch from my sketchbook.

These were the sorts of things I was worrying about today, but looking outside at my garden is an affirmation. To really know what to do, or how and when to do it, you've got to learn as you go and figure it out from there. Then, hopefully, you'll get to stuff yourself chock full of tomatoes at the end of the summer from the garden that you grew.

Summer Garden. Watercolor on paper, 8" x 7.5". 2016


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