Creativity isn't always artsy

Living a creative lifestyle is important to me. As a creative there’s never a shortage of ideas for things I want to learn or try. I follow creative people on Instagram. I research creative projects for my home. I look for inspiration for my ceramics projects. I will never touch half of the ideas, but the truth is, living a creative lifestyle doesn’t have to mean making art, or working on a literal creative project all the time. One of the creative outlets I’m working on this week is planning my garden and what I want to include this year.

My back yard is my oasis. I’ve lived in my home for 21 years so I’ve had a lot of practice in trial and error regarding what works well and what is a total flop in the garden. In the past, I have focused on veggies, or a flower garden with the intention of using it for fresh cut flowers in my home all summer long. I’ve had perennial gardens, annual gardens, shade gardens that have become full sun gardens when a tree has had to come down. It’s a constant evolution. My husband and I also have differing opinions on what is a weed and what is a flower. Since he IS a former landscaper he might be right … though … can’t a weed also be a beautiful flower? Yes. Yes it can. Sometimes my garden has surprised me, sometimes I’m totally disappointed. But ….. I’m always always learning.

This year, if you’ve been following me on Instagram, you might not be surprised to know that I’m planning at least one of my garden beds around potential sources for natural dying. i’m also considering some plants for medicinal purposes. After some research and many library books later, here’s what’s on my planning list:

 
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For natural dying: Lavender, Mint, Rosemary, Thyme, Dill, Dahlias, Yarrow, Coreopsis, Calendula, Marigolds, Black Eyes Susans

For medicinal use:

  • Calendula (infused in Almond oil - treats sunburn & rashes)

  • Bee Balm - calms nerves & cold symptoms

  • Lavender - calming and cell regeneration

  • Peppermint - excellent in infused waters and for headaches

  • Rosemary - good for alertness & memory

I always always plant Roma, Big Boy, and Cherry tomatoes and basil and cilantro - we use these all summer long in homemade salsa, BLTS, salads, and on our Friday Night Pizza. Cucumbers are so easy too - but I often forget to pick them and they come out gigantic. Kale and Romain will be in the veggie garden again and I intend to try garlic this year … I’ve grown it before but it’s been a while. I think i’ll leave it at that for the veggies.

The only two annuals I plant every year are Zinnias and snapdragons. Both are fairly low maintenance with an occasional pruning of dead blooms so the plant’s energy can go into making new flowers - which provides lush blooms all summer long.

I share this with you to illustrate that planning your summer garden is a creative act. Mother’s Day weekend is a popular planting weekend. What do you want your garden to give to you this summer? Cutting flowers for your kitchen table? Healthy food for your tummy? Want to try some experiments this year? Maybe you just want to buy hanging planters and be done with it! Totally fine! Exercise your creative juices. Cultivate a creative lifestyle doing something you would have been doing anyway!

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