If you know me at all you know how much I love gardening. I never had much of a green thumb when I was younger (in fact I still can't keep a plant alive indoors! Go figure.) but when we started making plans to move into our home over ten years ago (my first real house with a yard) I got the itch to garden. In my characteristic obsessive way I immersed myself in gardening books and blogs and tried to learn every little thing I could about gardening. Of course anyone who gardens knows that you can only really learn how to garden by doing it (like most things I suppose). Planting, growing, failing, succeeding, it's a constant cycle when you're nurturing plants. I can't even tell you how many things I've learned from gardening: patience, tenaciousness, humility. And I love the cyclical nature of gardening too. I appreciate spring in a whole new way since I started gardening.
My husband says I draw a lot of vegetables in the spring/summer and I suppose he's right. They're on my mind! I have a lot of perennial flower beds and shrubs, but my little kitchen garden has a special place in my heart. I never thought I would grow vegetables - I had zero interest in it but I changed my mind when I saw all these pictures of beautiful kitchen gardens or potagers (a garden near the house that grows everything for your table, from flowers and herbs to fruit and vegetables). Our little garden has herbs, flowers (zinnias are my favorites), and veggies: lettuce, snap peas, beans, squash, carrots, tomatoes, eggplant, and whatever else we decide to throw in there. Nearby we have rhubarb and a strawberry and raspberry patch. My kids usually take over the center raised bed. One year it was a rainbow garden, last summer they planted a salsa garden. I try to only grow what I know we can realistically eat because I'm not a canner/preserver. The thought of canning hundreds of pounds of tomatoes in late August gives me the sweats. But I love that little garden, it's kind of magical. And a whole lot of work. And sometimes I swear a bit when something's been eaten by a critter or plants mysteriously up and die. But still . . . magical.
All this to say I get a lot of inspiration from my gardens because I love drawing flowers and food. I have a few new pieces of work to share with you that come straight from my garden inspiration. The first features veggies from the farmer's market (or garden).
This next collection was inspired by the June issue of Better Homes and Gardens, a magazine I've subscribed to for years. I often find color palettes and images that inspire new designs. Sometimes I just sit with the latest issue and sketch whatever I'm interested in as I turn the pages. This design also features peonies, which are one of my all-time favorites and I have several of them blooming in my yard as I write this.
Finally, because summer has arrived, a little summer inspired lemonade design, originally for a Spoonflower contest and a chance to practice more hand lettering which I'm trying to do more of. I hope you enjoy whatever happens to be blooming near you!