Sunday, May 12, 2013

Art & a little mystery in the garden

Me & Felder Rushing's Classic Truck Garden on Wheels!

Yesterday, I was honored to be included among other artists at the annual Art in the Garden event held at THE ARBOR GATE in Tomball, Texas. I was there signing copies of EVIDENCE OF LIFE. There was worry the night before that it would rain, but early that morning, driving over, the sky began to clear, and by the time I arrived and set up at around 9:00 or so, there was a light breeze, and the clouds weren’t more than tattered white lace breaking over a field of clearest blue. The setting was absolutely gorgeous, a lush fantasy of floral color and texture. The thing that is so unique about the nursery, or one of many things, is that everything they sell is suited to this area. Every plant can take the tough Texas heat and humidity. Of course it’s still up to the gardener to find the right place and to take the proper care. And for advice on that you’ll find plenty of folks there who can help you, really help, I mean. Because they know this area and they know plants. But here’s something else about the Gate as it's fondly called … even if you don’t garden, it’s worth a trip. There are the shops, of course, filled with the most unique assortment of home and garden accents, everything from beautiful to whimsical to practical. But the real reason to go is for the atmosphere, just to soak up the beauty and the warmth and congeniality of the people who work there. You come away with such a lovely feeling. It’s all that joy that’s loose in the air. It makes you feel like champagne bubbles. I think I was one of Beverly Welch'’s first customers. We won’t talk about how long ago it was, but I’m so thrilled she’s here and for what she’s
accomplished. I can’t thank her enough, either, for the enthusiasm, support and encouragement she's shown me in honor of the debut of EVIDENCE OF LIFE, and I was thrilled that she made a place for me to sign copies and do a wine and book giveaway yesterday. (Winners will be emailed.) Thank you so much, Bev!!

She made a place for Felder Rushing, too. Felder is the fun and quirky author of Slow Gardening, A No-Stress Philosophy For All Senses & All Seasons. According to the Wikipedia definition, slow gardening is a philosophical approach to gardening which encourages participants to savor everything they do, using all the senses, through all seasons, regardless of garden type or style. The method applies equally to people growing vegetables, herbs, flowers, and fruits, as well as those who tend to their own lawn, or have an intense garden hobby such as topiary, bonsai, or plant hybridizing. (I have all these intense hobbies except the lawn one!) It actively promotes self-awareness, personal responsibility, and environmental stewardship.

Given the breadth and depth of the definition, it sounds to me like the way to live your life. Felder spoke at the event yesterday and I had the privilege of hearing his talk and also of meeting him and shaking his hand and laughing at his jokes. The classic truck in the background of the photo of me belongs to him. There’s a garden planted in the back of it, a real, living garden. He planted it there, he says, because he wants people to understand when they say they have no space for a garden, it’s a matter of choice. You can have a garden anywhere. Visit Felder’s websites here, Felder Rushing of Slow Gardening. It is worth the time, and it’ll make you smile. He is the living embodiment of Joseph Campbell’s quote about following your bliss.

I also got to meet and visit with Lynn Herbert, the author of A Garden Book for Houston & the Texas Gulf Coast and what a lovely person she is! We talked about plants and books and the work we do. We talked about aquaponics with my son David and daughter-in-law Christy who are working on building an aquaponics farm, Smithwick Aquaponics Farms, in the Hill Country. That was in between signing copies of our books.

It was such a lovely day with music and laughter. Thank you to everyone who came! If you missed it this year, you should make a plan to go next year. The photos Christy took are gorgeous, but photos can’t do it justice. And huge thanks to David and Christy who spent a wonderful pre-Mother’s Day day with me! Love you both!! HAPPY MOTHER"S DAY to all moms everywhere. Wishing you joy! 

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