Saturday, February 21, 2009

On The Pool Garden: An Introduction. Or, How I Fell Off the Deep End.

I look back at last January and am amazed by the thing that happened in me. I am looking for a word to describe it and am having trouble...epiphany? Transformation? Stark-raving-mad? It was something new, that's all I can really say.

I used to love winter. Every snowflake made me smile. I loved the colors--yes, the colors...gray, brown, black, blue, white. (I still love these things.) But for several years in a row, I was getting depressed in the winter. It wasn't the weather, really. I was bored, I had no purpose, and all I did was watch tv and movies. I felt bad, which sprouted more feeling bad which ate the bad feelings and got bigger. That's how depression works in me.

Late in '07 I was gaining freedom from depression and learning to see the pattern I tend to fall into that leads there. So in the winter of '08, when I found an artistic expression that captured my imagination and that I had some hope of making reality, I was so very grateful. But it was an experience so new for me that I still shake my head at the person I've become.

It started with looking at pretty pictures in gardening books. I have found that when I admire something, I want to be/do it. This has never been a realistic desire in the realms of singing, acting, or painting. But reading gardening books, I was suddenly convinced that I could do it! I could learn, plan, carry out a design, and produce something beautiful. So I dove in.

I decided I was more interested in gardening than maintaining our pool (old and always green by July). We had it removed during a thaw in January and that 15X30 ft. oval became my blank slate. I read tons of books. I got a notebook with graph paper. I drew several different layouts. I learned botanical names of almost all the shade plants that would grow in NY. I lay awake at night turning ideas over and over in my head! Nothing, ever, had kept me from sleeping before. This passion/obsession lasted through the planning stages of the winter, the digging stages of the spring, and the weeding stages of the summer. Its winter again and I'm so happy to be planning the next garden and I cannot wait to see how the Pool Garden looks this spring.

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