Our outdoor life is about to begin.
We raked the yard this weekend, using lots of muscle to get the matted leaves and film of road dust off of the sleeping lawn. The garden and half of our house foundation are still swallowed by blankets of snow, but the weekend was finally mild and we were hankering to work out there.
Across the road in The Lost Garden we freed the old barn foundation from wild grapevine, nettle stalks and Lord only knows what else. As we worked we found clumps of spring flowers, planted with intention back in the 40s when the Wesbrooks gardened there after taking down the barn. The site is east of the stone wall, protected from wind and warmed by the stone. Behind the house the garden is still under snow except for the rhubarb patch, punching through the leaves and looking like some strange undersea plant as it emerges pink and wrinkled.
Gardening feeds all my creative fires, and it is a way to express my love of color, my desire to bring quality and nourishing food to my table, and my need to have dirty, broken fingernails at all times. I am a manicurist’s nightmare.
I came upon Frida Kahlo’s garden here. My daughter is learning about Frida in her Spanish class and we’ve had some dinner table discussions about Frida’s troubled, artistic, tragic and — yet so intriguing — life. And to now learn of her garden and see the intense blue of her house Casa Azul outside of Mexico City—it’s a revelation.
Frida’s portrait is much beloved and is interpreted over and over by contemporary artists and illustrators. I recently tried it myself in brush and ink, just for fun.
A woman with flowers in her hair! Who could resist?
I like to think that she may have had dirt or paint under her fingernails.