There's a really nice children's store near my house and they sell all the things I want to play with: miniature xylophones and kaleidoscopes and sparkly wands and kazoos. I go there sometimes and just stand in front of the good stuff and drool a little bit. I try to be discreet so I won't damage the merchandise.
Sometime I even buy things.
I bought a sketch pad and a box of colored pencils the other day. Then I set about drawing gardens.
There are very few things that I can draw. Certainly nothing that looks like anything. But for some reason I thought I had a chance with gardens.
My first drawing went like this: going from left to right there was a long narrow patch of dark green, followed by equally long and narrow patches of red, light green, orange, yellow, dark purple, light purple, red again, more yellow and light blue.
In between the colored patches I wrote the words broccoli, tomatoes, peas, pumpkins, corn, eggplants, irises, cherries, bananas, clouds. I titled it Magic Garden #1.
I know as little about gardens as I do about drawing, but I felt justified including what I did because of the title. It seems to me that the word magic provides quite a bit of leeway.
After that I made a second drawing, with shapeless splotches of purple, green, orange, yellow, more green, blue, red, green again, and another shade of red. It was all willy-nilly, like a very messy garden might be.
I dutifully identified each smudge of color: plums, string beans, chick peas, yellow squash, green squash, hydrangeas, apples, avocados and cranberries. This one was titled Magic Garden #2.
If not for the written explanations no one would know what I was getting at.
I don’t mind giving people a clue.
All this business with the colors and the words took a lot of time, and each sheet of paper was gigantic. So much white space to fill. Which means I lost patience after the second garden.
So I pulled a page out of the sketch pad and cut it into lots of tiny squares.
This is what I drew on those scraps of paper, in circles and oblongs and squiggles of color: peaches, petunias, raisins, raspberries, nectarines, asparagus, peonies, blueberries, parsnips, lemon drops, kisses, roses, watermelons and watermelon seeds, okra, chard, gourds, anemones, onions, pickles, sunflowers, brussels sprouts, red peppers, yellow peppers, green peppers, kiwis, kale, violets, scallions, tangerines, cabbages, beets, strawberries, cumin, leeks, star fruit, lotuses, rutabagas, garlic, raindrops, parsley, figs, butterflies, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, almonds, daisies, basil, tiramisu, pansies and carrots.
Because they were so small, I called each miniature drawing a Haiku Magic Garden.
midnight in the garden —
lost dreams and daisies
meet to gossip
I wrote this piece a number of years ago. I no longer draw gardens. But I still think daisies are the biggest gossips.