Taking A Break

It’s been two months, and I have not written a blog post. I didn’t mean to take a break, it just happened because of all I’ve had going on. My garden has kept me busy, and sometimes I lose track of time. I have only a few vegetables, but there is so much to do. I planted one cherry tomato plant that is now super hulk size. I planted two zucchinis that have turned into three plants. I think maybe one was hiding in with one of the other plants. I planted two kinds of radishes, and they have all been put in salads. I was going to plant more, but there’s no space now. The snacking bell pepper is doing well but shaded too much by the monstrous zucchinis. I also planted a red bell pepper that gets a lot of shade, so the peppers are not turning red. I got very excited when all my snap peas came up. The seeds had expired, but they came up, and I started harvesting. Sadly a fungus attacked, and I didn’t get to treat them right away. I had to pull out the dead plants. When you garden, it is wise to get in your garden every day. I didn’t and lost a great crop. 

Poking around and checking on all your vegetables is a good idea. I understand other gardeners keep a gardening journal. I never thought that was necessary. My grandfather and dad never did, and they had fantastic gardens. But I see now that it is a good idea so you can reflect on what worked and what didn’t.

This tomato plant is now 4 times this size!

I have another bed with California native wildflowers, and that has been joyful. I don’t know what they all are, but the bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds love them. Here’s something to put in my garden journal: when you buy a seed packet with multiple flowers, identify each variety found in the pack. That way, you can get some more seeds next season of your favorite flowers that attract pollinators.

The rest of the yard has been transformed. There were so many plants that didn’t have flowers, or they were not good for the pollinators. After careful planning, almost every plant is a California native, and they have helped bring the bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to the backyard. I had to have two trees removed because of disease. So I had my gardener plant apricot, mandarin, and grapefruit trees. They are small, but I’m hoping for fruit next year. I have one space left for another fruit tree. I’ve not decided which one yet.

Besides all this gardening, I also got swept away with taking a few classes. It’s been wonderful to be a student again. I love collage, and when a friend posted she was teaching a class on collaging in a sketchbook, I knew it would be fun. I also took a studio organizing class. That one is self-paced, and I’ve almost finished the whole course. I’ve cleared out so many art supplies and books I no longer need or want. I journaled about the kinds of art I love to make. Then I listed all the supplies that would be used in each one of those mediums. I pulled out and donated everything that did not fall in those categories to my daughter’s library. She is a children’s librarian, and they never have enough funds for programs. The art books will go to an art club that I belong to.

It has been good to be doing things that feed my soul. I don’t feel so burnt out as I did. I love that I can shift back and forth into whatever suits me at the time. There’s always a way to keep the creative juices flowing in the garden or while cleaning up your art space. I am enjoying the empty spaces in my studio and trying to keep things tidy, so I will continue to be inspired.

What have you been up to this summer? I know it’s not over, but I hope you are creating and enjoying some time off.

If you are looking for a class that will bring you more inspiration, I have a workshop coming up in August that you might enjoy.

Hot Summer Cool Collage 

August 13, 10 am 12 pm PST Via Zoom with a recording that you will be able to refer back to. Color theory and composition demystified.

Sign up here!

Hope to see you there! 


  1. Laura Bray says:

    Sounds like you are having a relaxing summer Aleta! I am too. It’s good to see you blogging again!

  2. Yes it’s been relaxing. The hardest thing I’ve done was to take down my snap peas. It was more emotional than physical.

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