Saturday, March 31, 2012

Simplicity, Joy & Balance

I have been reminiscing about the times when I was immersed in art;   following it and making it. I realize that composing a landscape is art and certainly there is great satisfaction. I have always believed and trusted in the process. Upon completion of a garden, I still feel the thrill.
I do miss hammering silver, applying brush to color to canvas, needle to fabric.....and more.
Balance. I have lost it. I have looked everywhere.
I concentrate on my business most of every week; working it, promoting it, guiding it, studying about it, communicating about it, financing it and growing with it. Within this schedule, I do not allow myself the time and activities necessary to replenish my vessel. The key is to Simplify.
I feel the need to move back toward my beginnings. I was simply a gardener and an artist; though then, I was finding my way as beginners do. And what adventures! 30 years later, I feel removed to a certain extent from that simple notion of tending to and the arrangement of plants. So, I am thinking about how I want to see myself as I cross another threshold. Ideas:

  • Tending many smaller gardens myself and by hand
  • Garden Coaching
  • Training beginning gardeners who would like to be in the profession
  • Designing landscapes and supervising clients' crews through the installation process
I am curious as to how others see shifting their businesses to lower stress and have time for other delights like family, friends, activities and passions.

I have mentioned my upcoming birthday later this year, already. The number doesn't bother me, but I think these decade markers tend to force many of us to stop and rethink the route that we travel. Yes; we need to fund the trip, but need one thing above all. Joy.
Leaving the landscaping page briefly, I am thinking about how I have felt this elusive joy, giving myself a timeline of the past 2 years for this example: Sitting quietly in the garden,sitting by the fire on a rainy day, enjoying home in candlelight, laughing at the silliness of my dog, taking metal work workshops and having time with those I love. The joy that I look forward to is the birth of my grandson; carried by my beautiful healthy daughter with her husband's love, support and involvement. And art needs to take its place within me again because it will support Balance.

I keep coming back to simplify. What can I do right now?
Work enough, make enough, take time for picnics during work days, go window shopping during breaks (galleries), open my eyes while en route, set business communication limits during after- hours, keep my amazing bookkeeper ( Lansida Brockmeyer ; owner of Level Ledgers, Carmel) and begin to limit weekend work, thereby creating time for art. It will be a process, but I need to start somewhere! Simplify equals freeing up more time. Time equals creativity, which is a hop, skip and a jump to joy. Simplify and Joy equal Balance.

I do like to recommend products and or books that I come across.

I would like to encourage any readers to incorporate edibles in your gardens, even if you have only a deck or porch. There are many books out.
One is "Grow Great Grub: Organic Food from Small Spaces" by Gayla Trail
I will always recommend "Plants and Landscapes for Summer Dry Climates for the San Francisco Bay Region". The title is a little deceiving as not all of the plants are for dry hot climates. Here in Carmel, most are well suited. However, the photos are wonderful and the descriptions are good. I refer to this book while designing, without fail.

A product which I have purchased and not yet used, is Mycorrhizal Fungi. It is one of the more important groups of soil organisms which play a critical role in nutrient cycling, mediating plant stress and protecting against pathogens. It is a cornerstone in the ability of plants to survive transplant shock and become fully established. It is locally available and there are many companies online who carry it. I read about it on an online LinkedIn garden design group discussion that I read daily. Many are from the UK and a few of the contributors said that they never plant without it.

Today's featured jewelry celebrates The Green Man. He is the god of spring; whose image was used as a talisman to encourage new fertility and growth. I am showing 2 sets of "Dog Tags" in sterling on a nickle plated ball chain. They are each $58.00 and can be purchased locally from me or online through Etsy.

Until next time. I want to get to work and finish my list of duties so that perhaps I can take some time to contemplate how I will enter art's door once again.

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