You know you spend a lot of time and energy and inspiration in your gardens when you start painting colorful gates for them, and naming them. That, and when you actually spend more time there than you do in your home. It’s not just a garden anymore; it becomes a green-leaved, produce-bearing muraled expression of yourself that nothing else can suffice. It’s kind of like how a musician feels when they play their instrument; the instrument creates a sound you cannot duplicate, on every intricate level, within each polyrythmic combination of keys that one cannot do without that such instrument. What it boils down to, really, is it becomes a hobby. We all have it. We all feed off of our hobbies and passions, and always seem to find an “extra step” within it. In my case, I painted a fence. It’s really that simple.
We named Garden Lot 1 ‘Bredwardine’. My husband designed a beautiful gate, and I painted it. I had a “first coat” on it that I loved better than the outcome, but that’s okay; there’s always next time. And the wonderful thing about paint is: When you get tired of it, you can just paint over it. I love color – it’s one of the reasons why I love gardening (flowers, especially, for obvious reasons), so I wanted this gate to be bright, cheerful, welcoming and colorful. More than anything, I had fun doing it. My sons and I were out in the backyard painting, getting splashed with all different colors, and experimenting with brush strokes and design. From head to toe, by the end of both days, we looked like human rainbows.
It’s interesting how when you’re actually in the process of painting, you’re in love with it. I kept thinking to myself, “Wow! I have serious artistic talent!” and I felt like those really hip artsy chicks, barefooted and bohemian. All that were missing were jangling ankle bracelets. And a glass of wine at 2pm. And maybe Klimt sitting in his robe, barefooted with me, painting a portrait of me painting a portrait of a flower vine (have you noticed I have a slight interest in Klimt? I do). Ah, yes. The ego comes out whilst painting. And then it’s finished. I smiled, stepped back. I stopped. I crossed my arms in front of my Old Navy (in my mind it was more like an Anthropologie) shirt. I frowned and pouted. It wasn’t what I pictured inside my head. In my head, it was a masterpiece. In reality, it was more of … well, of … this is going to sound horribly mean, but it looked more like a painting you would see in an elementary classroom. I’m not being hard on myself – this is just how I felt. But, nevertheless, it’s been gated up at Bredwardine. And, in all honesty, we all do like it.