Grow Write Guild #6: Landscapes


I’m thinking about landscapes this week as I prepare to go on a roadtrip through two — possibly three (we’ll see how far we get) North American deserts. I’ve always been drawn to the desert. When I think of this landscape I think of big skies, stars that touch the ground, magic, and grit. Perhaps it has something to do with how vastly different it is from the landscape around my home. The grass is always greener, or errr… dryer. It’s so contrary to our wetlands and forests that I can’t help but approach it with a strong feeling of respect, awe, and intense curiosity.

Speaking of which… there is also something to be said about the landscapes of our memory. For example, I spent the bulk of my childhood living next to a fallow brownfield located behind a derelict suburban shopping plaza. As a result, I have an enduring soft spot for fallow fields and overgrown parking lots where nature is in a wild clash with human “progress.” Even now I can see where aspects of this wildness has crept into the way I approach my own gardens and the plants (weeds) that volunteer themselves each year.

Grow Write Guild Prompt #6: Write about the landscape/s to which you are most drawn.

Use the following questions and strategies to help spark different approaches to this prompt. Feel free to ignore this if you don’t need it.

    Further Notes & Questions:

  • Is this a landscape from your past? If yes, what is your relationship to this landscape now compared to what it was then?
  • Is this a landscape you have never visited? If yes, how do you think your concept of it compares to the actual place?
  • Are there components of this landscape (plants, plant communities, design, etc) that have consciously or unconsciously inspired elements of your garden now (or gardens past)?
  • Are there components of this landscape that you would like to incorporate into your current garden? What are they?

The Grow Write Guild is a creative writing club for people who love to garden. Everyone is welcome to participate! Click over to the Grow Write Guild FAQ to learn more about it.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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