Taking my workspace outside and learning lessons from growing a garden.
Over the last few weeks, I have been working part of the day outside. It has been a slow process to get our patio area at the back of our house to feel like a space you want to spend time in. It was overgrown and neglected when we moved here in the Autumn of 2020 and the vintage caravan which I bought that same Autumn still needs a lot of work to be a space I can work in permanently. So with the weather being dry and sunny here on the Suffolk coast, I decided to create a space to work outside. I have been looking for a second-hand garden table for a while but then had a brainwave that our trusty foldout table (used for boot sales) could do just the job. So I set up a parasol (stood in a vintage watering can, filled with stones), and dressed the table with a tablecloth and 2 vintage terracotta pots (found in the old outside WC) which I had planted with white lavender seedlings last year. Something so simple that took about half an hour has brought so much joy over the last few weeks.
As a little treat last weekend, I bought myself a croissant after my swim and saved it a whole 24 hours to enjoy last Saturday morning. My laptop was out and it was working well getting the computer jobs on my to-do list done, but the heatwave arrived and my 7-year-old laptop, which struggles at the best of times had to go away. So I've been on the patio writing in my journal, ironing vintage ephemera (for some new work), drawing and painting on my easel, and having my morning iced coffee accompanied by the butterflies and busy bees. I'm planning some artwork to do next week, some printing and collaging, which will work perfectly outside so I can enjoy my new salmon geraniums I got from the local charity shop and watch the plethora of butterflies on our Buddleias.
I am learning patience as much as I am learning to grow a garden, sowing seeds, plugs, and potting on, it's all an experiment. It has taught me so much, and each day offers a new lesson sometimes about perseverance, sometimes about persistence, and sometimes about accepting that the time is not right for everything we have planned. Putting together a photo essay of all that I have grown this year allows me to stop and reflect, and makes me remember that sometimes we need to look back to look forward.
“I must have flowers, always, and always.”
I must admit I have been missing my garden studio I left at our old house, it was my sanctuary. I am very grateful however for the back room in our new house that is now my workspace, I no longer have to worry about damp or condensation or putting the heating on an hour before I can do any work, but I do miss being in the garden so this has been the perfect compromise. I have had all kinds of studio spaces over the years, another blog post in the making I think but this little setup I have going gives me back some of that connection until project 'Wilbur' (my 1960s Sprite) can begin phase two of her restoration.
Sending much love and creativity,