Last week a rainstorm blew in – a drenching that called for sturdy shoes and coats and startled after this summer of day-after-day sun.
During the first week of August, in the midst of that sunshine, Lady B came to visit. We did all our best things: drawing trees at Bloedel, beach time and hikes, painting pottery, and visiting the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. She overlapped a day with Sweet B, and the two of them decorated our driveway with chalk flowers and a “welcome to the neighborhood sign,” and then camped out in the living room for a sleepover night.
The next morning, we rode the ferry to meet Lady B’s mom and eat crumpets and ice cream before they returned to Alaska. Sweet B stayed on with her family for three terrific weeks.
In September, the Garden Project at the Bainbridge Arts and Crafts Gallery succeeded with a near sell-out – earning more than $800 for the food bank. In an exciting development for me, I met another artist in the exhibition, a kindred spirit named Lou Cabeen. Over coffee one morning, she told me about the Elisabeth C. Miller Library at the Center for Urban Horticulture, part of the University of Washington Botanic Gardens.
In addition to emphasizing books about horticulture, botany, plant ecology, and garden design, this library presents monthly exhibits by artists who share the library’s love of plants, gardens, and nature. I applied to exhibit, and a lucky vacancy allowed me to be accepted for a show in July 2022.
The Miller is heaven for me – books and gardens! Last month I rode the light rail to the University of Washington, walked along a wetland path on the shore of Lake Washington, behind the huge stadiums and athletic buildings, to meet librarian Rebecca Alexander and see the available space. It’s plentiful, varied, and inspiring with possibility – and a little intimidating.
But really I wanted to make this update because of this piece by Adrian Higgins about trees. It reminded me that, in my efforts to transform the pumpkin patch into a long-lasting space, more trees are in order. (I’m beginning this process, but for now, more than 25 pumpkins nearly engulf the shrubs I planted last spring.) Our neighborhood has seen the destruction of all sorts of small habitats these last few years. It’s fall planting time, and a joy, to put some back.