Garden Photo of the Day

Gardening as Art

What a wonderful story of the power of gardening! While Kate will miss her garden in Maryland, we are excited to see she creates in Reno. Keep us posted, Kate!

"I have a degree in fine arts. I stopped all traditional types of creating art when I got sober in 1985, I seemed to lose my voice at that time, or maybe it just lost its relevance. I found it again through gardening. Creating layers of color and texture throughout the growing season is a great way to paint. I combine native and non-native species to get maximum impact. Hummingbirds, frogs, butterflies and other insects live their lives in this backyard ecosytem unmolested by pesticides or herbicides. 

I'm getting ready to leave this garden on the eastern shore of Maryland for Reno, Nevada. Our home, surrounded by farms, is up for sale. I sat on the back step yesterday and cried, both grateful and sad." 

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  1. user-7007366 08/10/2015

    Absolutely beautiful, a new creative challenge coming up! Keep going, you have painted a beautiful picture.

  2. Lisianne 08/10/2015

    I was really struck by the similarity in texture of the moisture on the rose petals and the skin of the toad. Nice.

  3. user-4691082 08/10/2015

    Kate, first of all, congratulations on your sobriety! The garden you created is very peaceful...the Eastern Shore is a beautiful place and you are passing along your art to another caretaker. My best to you as you learn the climate of Reno and discover new plants. Your next canvas will be just as beautiful. Thank you for making our world a little more enjoyable!

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 08/10/2015

    Good morning, Kate. I'm so glad that your artistic gifts and talents found such a gratifying and healthy medium in which to be expressed. You've done a lovely job in your MD garden and, although the Reno growing conditions will no doubt result in a totally different looking type garden, you'll be like Picasso...just going on into another phase of creativity.

  5. eddireid 08/10/2015

    Hello Kate,
    Art in any form comes from deep inside - it's expression finds a way out and relieves the artist from unbidden emotion whether that be pain or unbridled joy and passion. How fortunate you have been to find the peace in gardening to help you heal. So many of us find deep satisfaction in the creation and maintenance of our gardens. People may find it crazy, but when I am able to go outside and be in my garden, it feels like the peace in a beautiful cathedral.
    Have a wonderful life in Reno.

    1. patward 08/10/2015

      Beautifully said!

    2. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/10/2015

      So true and beautiful, Eddi!

    3. User avater
      meander_michaele 08/10/2015

      Every one of your sentences is a treasure of wisdom...they will be my companions today as I garden. Thank you, Eddi, for putting so much thought into your insightful comments.

    4. sheila_schultz 08/10/2015

      Eddi, your thoughtful words have touched many hearts today... thank you.

    5. greengenes 08/10/2015

      Well said! Thanks Eddi for sharing and opening up further understanding to our passions and pursuits!

  6. eddireid 08/10/2015

    Meander1 is right - what you will create in Reno will be creative in a different way - just think of all that fresh, new material. So exciting.

  7. User avater
    HelloFromMD 08/10/2015

    Your home surrounded by farms and your lovely garden looks magical in the morning mist. I hope you can find gardening magic again in Reno.

  8. patward 08/10/2015

    Kate, congratulations in many ways on your sobriety! That is a fantastic achievement alone! Your beautiful garden is a work of art, a happy place! Thanks for sharing, and bst wishes in your new home. I recently left my dream home and garden, it is a hard move, but new challenges await! Best wishes to you!

  9. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/10/2015

    Kate, your new art form is wonderful. I'm an illustrator and I, too, find that my garden is my art. What is so fun about this art form is that it is an ever-changing installation that we work with, but can't completely control. I guess kind of a metaphor for life. I hope you are doing research on plants that do well in Reno. There's a different kind of beauty, and so many cool and wonderful plants, and even beautiful flowers! Scott Calhoun's books might be a good place to start. Wishing you the best!

    1. katemcnamee 08/10/2015

      Thank you!

  10. user-7007076 08/10/2015

    Great job! Your garden is very lovely! My undergraduate is in fine art too. Given the opportunity I'm outside gardening May thru Septmember in Minnesota. Then comes fall and winter and I'm ready for a season of rest from the art of gardening and take up more traditional forms of visual art. I think there are seasons in life and things pass out of interest only to rekindle after a sabbath of rest away from them. And life, too, I believe, makes us a more relevant artist because we have a story. What a drastically different and lovely new environment Nevada will be. It'll be a fun new challenge in gardening and who know's maybe another art form will arise. Congratulations on your sobriety!

  11. VikkiVA 08/10/2015

    You have channeled your artistic talents to create beautiful landscapes for all to enjoy. I applaud your courage to battle your addiction and enjoy victory. God bless you as you start a new chapter in your life. Send pictures of your Reno garden. Vikki in VA.

  12. katieerb 08/10/2015

    This is such a beautiful space, I hope you don't mind but I simply had to put the photo of the tiny frog on the rose on my Pinterest page of favorite things. I wish you good luck in your new Reno space, I'm sure you will make fabulous garden art!! I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of your new endeavor.

  13. GrannyCC 08/10/2015

    Congratulations on your sobriety Kate and on your beautiful garden. It is so serene and enchanting.. I am sure it was a very healing process. Good luck with your new adventure.It will be a different challenge and I hope you will share it with us.

  14. greengenes 08/10/2015

    I sure love to sit in a rose just like the frog! Can you imagine the smell! These are all great shots of your gardens. I hope the next person will see the beauty and keep it up and even expand! That is wonderful that you are clean and enjoying life! You will with no doubt find another way to create, express, and be more than before! There are so many beautiful succulents and cacti and other plants in the dry, hot places. A totally new type of surroundings. Thanks for sharing and may your future be free and bright!

  15. davsav 08/10/2015

    What a beautiful story of moving forward as a person. As a military spouse I know how hard it is to start over and understand your tears. I'm sure you will create again at your new home. I'm rooting for you. Can I say that on a gardening blog?

  16. thevioletfern 08/10/2015

    Beautiful! I remember sobbing when we finally drove away from our house in Maine. But now I have a new garden and I love it just as much, if not more. I am sure you will be inspired by that new blank canvas and we can't wait to see what you will paint!

  17. sheila_schultz 08/10/2015

    Congratulations on rediscovering your inner strengths, Kate. Working with nature does create it's own kind of magic, just look around you at the quiet beauty in your Maryland gardens. There is no question that you will be surrounded by a different kind of beauty in the desert landscape of Reno... and that you will fall in love all over again! I moved from the shaded green landscapes of the Chicago area to the high plains desert of Denver 10 years ago. It has been such a delicious challenge to learn a totally new way to surround myself with plants I love. Your new paintings will be very different, Kate, but equally filled with beauty!

    Tim is right about Scott Calhoun, he's a really good guy from Tucson and is a master of desert landscape possibilities. Lauren Springer Ogden's books are also interesting and informative reads as are Debra Lee Baldwin's. What a wonderful adventure you have ahead!

  18. GrannyMay 08/10/2015

    Hi Kate. Echoing what everyone else has said, I love your garden and know that you will create another one equally beautiful, though very different, in Reno. Such talent cannot remain unused for long. Congratulations for being strong and remaining sober.

  19. eddireid 08/10/2015

    Kate touched my heart and I know all of you felt the same.

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