Saturday, February 14, 2015

Country Garden in the City

Cambridge, Massachusetts has lots of older neighborhoods with houses from the late 19th and early 20th century. Many of these houses have gardens. These are real gardens with dirt in them, not container gardens or hydroponic racks. They are behind the house and extend to the sides of the house and its driveway. My house, when I lived in Cambridge, had a spacious lawn and garden enclosed in its backyard, and I grew plants and vegetables. I never realized what a privilege it was to have an outdoor garden in the city until I moved away to a newer and denser environment. 

In my sketch trips around the neighborhood I would sometimes draw these gardens. The one you see above looks like it's in the middle of the country, but it is in a built-up area of Cambridge just one block from a major highway. In fact I used to do nature walks with my wildflower guidebook, finding all sorts of species of wildflowers and herbs growing by the roadside and in vacant lots. The pink and  white flowers you see in this garden are phlox, which are not wild but keep sprouting year after year like wild flowers. Right now all these gardens are buried in feet of snow, but I thought I'd show my winter-weary readers a summer scene to make them feel warm. 

"Country garden in the city" is 8" x 10", ink colored in watercolor on sketchbook page, some restoration in Photoshop. July 19,1984.

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