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Growing My Own Inspiration + Favorite Garden Things

Do you have a garden?

I'm guessing that since you're here, you might at least be interested in them! I have one that I love dearly and use to grow everything from vegetables to ornamental flowers.

Everything that grows in my garden inspires my art practice and, over the course of time, I have developed some favorite books, seeds, and other products that you might love too! Here is a list of my favorite garden products (and garden-related products!) organized by type:

Seeds

hand holding sunflower steve seed co sunflower package with trees in background

 Sunflower Steve Seed Co.

These seeds are very, very special and I have had the privilege of working with Steve to create his illustrated sunflower logo and seed package design. Talk about project of a lifetime! Steve is truly one of the most genuine and kind people you will meet and he has spent years developing his own, incredible breed of sunflowers that he is now sharing with the world. These sunflowers are easily recognizable by the sheer amount of petals packed into each flower as well as their unique petal color combinations. Each one looks as though it was painted with a paint brush and they range from a burgundy-maroon to yellow-orange. 
Below is one of Steve's pictures of the flowers he gets from his breeding fields:

bunches of sunflower steve seed co sunflowers

Over the course of time he will be developing the seeds further to be able to offer individual flower varieties but for now he is offering a mix of all of these beauties together very approprately named, "Van Gogh's Vantasy Mix". As his tagline says, he is truly "changing the face of sunflowers forever". I have grown these seeds in my own garden this year and it is so fun to see which variety each one will be. You can find Steve's flowers on his website here.

 

heirloom purple carrots

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

I have been using Baker Creek for years now because I find it to be a great source for heirloom seeds which, from what I have learned, is a great way to preserve biodiversity which increases food security. If there are lots of varieties of plants being grown and something in the climate affects one of the varieties then you have other varieties to lean on in times of need. What I love about them are the sheer amount of seed variety that they offer for both flowers and vegetables, as well as their mission. According to their website: "a significant portion of our annual profits goes toward providing food, emergency aid, sustainable development, and education to people in the U.S. and abroad. We also provide free seeds to hundreds of community and educational groups each year". You can shop their seeds here.

 

Books

plant partners book

 

Plant Partners: Science-Based Companion Planting Strategies for the Vegetable Garden
By Jessica Walliser
This is my favorite book for learning more about natural and organic ways to control pests, support pollination, and improve soil conditions in your garden. I have put many aspects of the book's teaching into practice with a lot of success. What I love about it the most is that it takes a lot of the handed down, anecdotal companion planting advice and puts it to the test with scientific rigger. 

 

braiding sweetgrass book

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants
By Robin Wall Kimmerer

This book is hard to describe in just one sentence but I have found reading it so calming, and inspiring. It has a way of making you think about our place in the ecosystem and the ways in which plants and people are interconnected. Robin is a trained botanist and a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. I feel like this book is her way of navigating and connecting the two of those together. I pick it up and read it whenever I want to slow down and feel more connected to my roots and the natural world around me.

 

Products for the Garden

greenstalk planters

Greenstalk Vertical Planter

My dad got one of these planters for his porch and I loved it so much that I have one now. This is a great way to maximize the plants that you can grow within a really small footprint. I also love it because at the end of the summer, when the garden has gotten away from me from the heat and rain, I can start fresh for the fall with this on my back deck without having to clear out the garden if I don't have the time. This is my first season with one and I already have it filled to the brim with plants! You can visit their website here.

 

Inspired by the Garden

Below are paintings that I have made based on heirloom plants grown from Baker Creek seeds in my own garden! 

Heirloom Purple Carrot
Limited Edition Print


Freshly Plucked Sprouts
Limited Edition Print

Ripening
Limited Edition Print

Sunlit Snapdragons and Zinnia
Limited Edition Print

 


Summer Splendor
Limited Edition Print

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