Monday, February 13, 2012

She said yes and now it's time for a map

Moving along in my garden book journey, the owner of the private garden that I contacted in hopes of getting her permission to take photographs said YES! 

With the journey now underway, a map is a necessity.  I thought about buying a real map, sticking it to the wall and using thumb tacks for the proposed garden locations.  Red thumb tacks could be replaced with a yellow one for a maybe, a green one for a yes.  However, I usually work at my laptop in the dining room and didn't want a map as my decor.  Not that my dining room has much of decor.  Fortunately, Google Maps has an electronic answer.  Here's a sample of what it looks like.  My garden story map is actually much more cluttered than the one above.  The real map has over 20 gardens. 

With Google Maps, each pinpoint includes a link to the garden's website.  This works well for the public gardens that have a site.  The next step of creating my map was using the notes section for brainstorming.  I categorized the garden spots by type of garden, focus, location, and photography schedule.  I quickly found this works only for brainstorming since notes can't be edited.  The brainstorming part will all end up on a spreadsheet. 

Google Maps includes the ability to share a map.  Links to the map were emailed to my husband and a friend, who both helped with prodding me along, for their input.  

The next couple of steps of this project are just as scary as the first step.  Contacting the owners or directors of the gardens to get permission to take photographs and include them in a book, is on the list.  And, calling my writer friend to see if she's interested in being the author.  

Now, I'm back to thinking "please say yes, please say yes."  And, thinking what on earth am I doing?  Why can't I just leave it at as a dream?

Friday, February 10, 2012

One door opened

Well, lo and behold.  While hoping and waiting for the door to open for the garden book project, another one opened instead.

I spent the morning running around town and met with the owner of ThistleThistle.  Thistle is a wonderful vintage shop in the Crossroads area of Kansas City.  There is a section set aside in the store for featured artists.  At the end of February, in time for March First Fridays, I'll have a couple of walls in the store featuring my garden photographs!

Of course, being downtown meant a stop at the Kauffman Memorial Gardens to take more pictures.  The orangery at the gardens is a great place to visit on a cold day.  The air is filled with the perfume of citrus trees.  The garden displays are full of color.  

Now, I'm back to wondering how the garden book will turn out and have something else to add to my worry list - getting the photos ready for Thistle.  Some are ready to go, others will come from my shop inventory at Satch's Jewel and I'll get to print, mat and frame some more.  Less than 20 days 'til set up for my very first First Fridays!  

To read more about my dream to create a book of garden stories, click on Perhaps I've lost my mind.  

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Perhaps I've lost my mind

"Perhaps I have lost my mind" is how I started an email to the owner of private botanical garden in Kansas.  It seems that a potential project that has haunted me for a year or so is not going to go away.  I've tried to ignore it by opening a little shop and busying myself with it in my spare time.  However, the idea popped up again when a friend mentioned that she would like a book of my photographs.  Thanks Laura! 

This afternoon I emailed the owner of private garden that is only open for weddings, concerts and special events for permission to take photographs this spring and summer.  It's a garden with a wonderful past, fascinating owner, and great plans for the future.  If you like gardening, you'll love the story. 

That is the way it is with many gardens.  There are stories behind the gardens that few know about.  I have a friend who was a POW in WWII that has created a lovely garden of conifers and traveled about the US finding these plants.  There is a woman in town who had a garden built to be handicapped accessible so she could continue gardening.  In addition to the private gardens, we have wonderful public gardens and those stories should be told too.  A bride to be that plans her wedding in the rose garden at Loose Park.  And, the community gardens just south of Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.  Who gardens there?  What are they growing?  Who are they feeding?  Who created the garden?  The story of the team of gardeners who designed and care for the Monet Garden at the Arboretum. 

Whenever I visit a public garden, I always go to the gift shop looking for a book that tells about the garden.  Usually, I come up empty handed.  So, here I am.  Sitting at a computer in winter when my full time job is slow and I have time to think and dream.  My dream is a book of gardens, our gardens, public and private, and the stories behind them. 

Will the owner of the garden I emailed this afternoon say yes and send me off on a journey of contacting and photographing the close to 25 gardens on the list I made today at lunch?  And, lead me to contact a friend that is a writer with a national magazine to see if she wants to be the author?  Or, will the owner of the garden say no and, with that, I'll think it wasn't meant to be and move on?  

One door opened - what happens next in my journey of writing a book of garden stories.