Much Ado (In The Garden… and etc)

There’s quite a bit to report here at Chez Bogard.  First off, as it is Tuesday, I’ll start with what’s up In The Garden.  The biggest news by far is that just yesterday evening at an  unnecessarily dramatic Amberley Village Council meeting, a new ordinance was (finally!!) passed that officially permits the keeping of backyard chickens in the village.  A few people had chickens already as the law was vague and stated ‘no farm animals’, listing other animals by name…. but not chickens.  So they’ve legally been flying under the radar for some time now.  But there was a need for clarity and boundaries in this matter as more and more young families are moving into the village and keeping chickens is quite in vogue these days.  In spite of a few rather stressed out folks crying ‘fowl’ and fear mongering, there was overwhelming support for the new ordinance and chickens are now welcome in the village.  I am already plotting my coop plans…. (the above photo is from the AWESOME website, Backyard Chickens .com.  You know where I’ll be lurking in my virtual free-time!!)  I’m thinking a ‘green’ rooftop for our coop….

Next In The Garden is more news on the Amberley Community Garden.  The deer fence is in place.

And we have begun digging in our little plots, making room for plants.  My plot-neighbor and new friend Natalie Wolf  and I are going to do one more good tilling before planting (technically today is the final frost date so although I feel a little behind, I’m really not… I hope!)  The other day I pulled out the grassy clumps that were trying to re-root themselves and I added some Posey Power in to enhance the soil a bit since this is a new garden.  My puppet boss, Kevin has given me a few tomato seedlings, and I plan to get a few more from a fellow coffee hound up at Pleasant Perk.  And I have seeds. These I purchased at our local Civic Garden Center, and a few, Hollyhocks actually, are a gift from Rachel over at 6512 and Growing.  (One of my favorite blogs to visit, as I have said time and time again.)  Soon my little plot will hopefully be growing with good things to eat….

It’s been a funny thing all this garden and chicken related hubbub.  All I really wanted was to have a few chickens for eggs and to grow some stuff to eat.  I like being outside.  I like the idea of eating food that came from a little plot of earth that I have worked with my own hands.  But along with these things has come an unexpected benefit and that’s a sense of community here in our little village.  I’ve made some friends through this process of law changes and garden building.  I feel more tapped into what’s actually happening in my neighborhood.  I feel a little more rooted here than I ever have.  Large, woodsy lots and quiet older neighbors can make for a sense of isolation, which is not a bad thing.  In fact, the quietude is why we moved here.  Quietude and green space for two people who spend a lot of their working hours at home.  But with the chicken drama and the availability of a community veggie plot, I feel my relationship with this village is balancing out to one steeped in community.  And I like this a lot.  As much as this gypsy soul loves to roam, I am so glad to be feeling rooted in place more than I ever have.

This last week hasn’t been all spent digging in the garden.  I’ve also managed a few things in studio.  I created a design for my dear friend and awesome singer-songwriter Kim Taylor  to use on a new t-shirt.  I’ll let you know when they are available for sale.  Kim is in the process of making a new album which is very much like birth.  More news on that as it progresses!!

Even though I have jobs to attend to, kids to look after, gardens to tend and chickens to advocate for, I’ve been trying to spend as much time as possible keeping my art pump primed.  A month from today I leave for Taos, NM to teach the travel journaling workshop and to film my segment of the Eco-Chic Retreat project.  I know I can’t do this off the cuff.  I need to be working in my own sketch-journal in a rich way in order to guide others on their journey into their books.  Last year was my first time teaching an intensive, site-specific workshop and I was bowled over by how intense it was.  As prepared as I was, I hope to be even more so this year so that the teaching process doesn’t wear me down to a nub as it did last year.  I am so excited to get to know this new group.  we start lead up classes next week to begin prepping blank books and getting to know our watercolors and such.  It’s going to be a rich next couple of months.

I will leave you today with an image of a little painting I did the other day.  It’s oil on panel, inspired by an image of a storm rolling into Dublin Bay.  For someone not used to oil paints, I surprised myself with this one.  It’s a nice little painting.  And sometimes, to make a nice little painting is just enough to set the day right.

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