Thursday, June 07, 2018

Open Garden June 12

Last year my daughter convinced me that I should volunteer my garden for the Newburyport Horticultural Society Members Garden Tour. Every year our June meeting is made up of visits to three members' gardens. She had been suggesting it for several years and I kept saying "Maybe someday. The garden isn't where I want it to be yet." She reminded me that the entire premise of my teaching was "Relax. Enjoy. It's all about the process. Don't worry about perfection. It's the spirit that counts." She didn't need to add that my attitude was contrary to those beliefs.

As I write this, I want so badly to offer qualifiers, to dampen your expectations and apologize for my effrontery in thinking that my garden is worthy of presentation for viewing. But instead I will share my favorite passage from Julia Child's book, My Life in France:

“We ate the lunch with painful politeness and avoided discussing its taste. I made sure not to apologize for it. This was a rule of mine.

I don’t believe in twisting yourself into knots of excuses and explanations over the food you make. When one’s hostess starts in with self-deprecations such as, “Oh, I don’t know how to cook…” or “Poor little me…” or “This may taste awful…” it is so dreadful to have to reassure her that everything is delicious and fine, whether it is or not. Besides, such admissions only draw attentions to one’s shortcomings (or self-perceived shortcomings), and make the other person think, ‘Yes, you’re right, this really is an awful meal!”

I am opening the garden up to visitors on Tuesday, June 12 from 1–4 PM. It's at 311 High Street in Newburyport. Feel free to stop by if you are in the area. I hope to share photos in another blog post.

If you are in the Newburyport area and interested in gardening, you might consider joining the Horticultural Society. It's name sounds rather formal but it is a friendly, down-to-earth group. Visit their website for information.

I'll be sharing little booklets with the chapter on perfection from my book, Art Lessons: Reflections From An Artist's Life, at the open garden. If you'd like to print and fold a copy of your own, download this pdf and follow the directions in this video. You'll want to have the writing on the outside when you make the first fold. You want the cover to be the page that says on perfection.

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