Accustomed to Alaska’s separation and vast distances, it’s still a treat for me to drive somewhere and change my scene. Bainbridge to the south, with its little town and ferry connection to Seattle, is an easy outing.
This day I had made an appointment to submit my work to the jury process for a gallery in Winslow. Since 1948 the Gallery at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts has supported artists as a non-profit. Once each month members of the staff look at original work and consider new artists. I took all the supporting materials to explain one’s art (including the address for Her spirits rose…) and dropped it off, making an appointment to return and pick it up.
When my mother lived on Bainbridge during the last years of her life, I visited increasingly frequently from Alaska. My mother is always on my mind there, as I remember trips to the doctor and the grocery store – and on a good day to the New Rose Café at Bainbridge Gardens.
The New Rose is a mish-mash of outdoor tables, almost out of the wind. Gardener lunch mates drink tea from little teapots and china cups. Birds chitter in the background. I order a cup of black bean soup.
Afterwards, wandering around this big nursery, I’m entering that imagining state gardeners inhabit on an undirected visit to a nursery. What would I do with that plant, where does that belong, that looks good, how big would it get? Does it need sun?
I spend a long time in the fruit trees. I have a Sweetheart cherry some seven years old, and a plum that might leap now in its third year – buds on both offer fruit hope. Even though it is not practical in a space as small as the courtyard to want another, I stop to read the labels on columnar apples. They’ve always seemed peculiar – just straight fat sticks – but in the picture on the label, covered with apples. A straight fat stick doesn’t take much space. Tempting.
Happy news waiting for me at BAC – they’d be glad to add me to their large list of artists – smiles all around. Especially from me – I’m glad to have an art connection closer to home again. And this gallery has interesting outreach programs I’ll enjoy being part of.
On the way home I’d planned a stop at the other big nursery – Bay Hay it’s called – to console myself if need be. Bay Hay has a different feel – in addition to plants, it offers baby chicks, animal feed, work clothes, wool socks – and also columnar apples.
To celebrate I buy two (for pollination). A burly young man carefully loads Malus pumila ‘Northpole’ and M. pumila ‘Golden Sentinel’ into the car.
More buds of hope.