Why Do I Garden Anyway?

“Our existence on this beautiful but lonely blue planet depends entirely on plants. The air we breathe, the food we eat, fibers for our clothes and many medicines we need derive directly or indirectly from plants. What can possibly be more important than to learn about plants and how to care for them? To learn about nature really means to understand about life and how we need to care for ourselves. Plants are our capital, our life savings and retirement fund at the same time ensuring that we survive as long as the sun may shine.” -Stig Dalstrom


Why Do I Garden Anyway? acrylics, charcoal 14x14 birch panel l

Why Do I Garden Anyway?
acrylics, charcoal
14×14 birch panel


This painting is a vent for me. My vegetable garden is being grown totally organically – no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. And every bug in existence loves this Georgia heat and humidity. Why do I garden? Now I love it and the quote above describes how I feel about the importance of taking care of our planet, but I do need to vent.

Two to three times a day I go to the garden to battle – right now – Mexican bean beetles. How do they know I planted beans? My method is to fill a bucket with about two inches of soapy water and knock the beetles into it where they die. I also mix my own insecticidal soap – using Dr. Bronner’s castile soap and essential oils of citronella and eucalyptus. The insecticidal soap helps with the aphids and stuns the beetles so I can knock them off the plants.

Luckily I don’t have deer or rabbit problems because of our fences. Our property is totally fenced and the garden is fenced.

A few tomato hornworms have showed up as well. They are easy to pick off although not always easy to see. Those pesky worms can devour a tomato plant in a matter of hours. But the garden is thriving – I’ll have tomatoes, squash, and cukes soon. I’ve already made some herb butters – sage, oregano, thyme and summer savory. I don’t love dried herbs. They seem to loose their flavor, so I buy farm fresh butter, chop the herbs (about 2 tablespoons per cube) add some butter to cover and freeze them. Ball makes these great ice tray type silicon freezer starter cubes. Your freeze overnight in their cubes and then transfer to freezer bags.

I posted this photo on my Facebook page, so some of you have already seen it. Here’s the garden this week:

Garden July 1, 2014

July 1, 2014


Have a happy 4th – stay safe, have fun and wave a flag! Hope you get to eat some good bbq with family and friends.

Happy 4th acrylics 10x8 birch panel

Happy 4th
10×8 birch panel


“The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place; from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.” –Pablo Picasso


About Judy Shreve

Blogging for me is like keeping a journal which I have done in various forms since I can remember. But what's great about this format is it offers an opportunity to explore all the things that interest me as an artist with others. Blogging seems to strengthen that sense of being part of both something personal and something universal. It takes the journaling idea and expands it through visitor's comments creating a valuable dialog that connects us to each other no matter where we live. I enjoy responding to each comment and warmly welcome your visits. email: judyshreve at mac dot com
This entry was posted in acrylics, folk art, gardening, painting. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Why Do I Garden Anyway?

  1. Annie says:

    Judy, No BBQ for me I don’t eat critters :-). I actually don’t like the 4th at all as all the fire works here scare my poor dog, we have neighbors that usually start two weeks before and go two weeks after, but so far we have been lucky and they have been quiet. That is a sweet painting and a sweet garden, I have a love/hate thing with bugs.They eat my sunflowers, but I hate to kill them though sometimes I have to, I wish you good luck with that :-).

    • Judy Shreve says:

      Hi Annie — bbq doesn’t have to mean ‘critters!’ I enjoy the holiday aspect of the 4th – a chance to get together with my family and friends. We do it quietly – no fireworks.
      Thanks for your sweet comments – yeah I hate the bugs too, but I want to gather a few beans at least.

  2. Lisa Graham says:

    Judy, I truly truly LOVE this painting! The people’s floral bodies…the striped shirt…the animals…oh my so much joy in this one. Your love for gardening shows here.

    Your garden looks amazing! A full time job obviously. I cannot believe you find time to paint! I hope that you continue to love and enjoy it…even though you have to battle bugs. I am sure your efforts are going to be so worth it!


    • Judy Shreve says:

      Thanks Lisa — Bob thinks I went ‘psycho’ when I painted it! I don’t know how farmers survive. There are so many things that can ruin a beautiful garden. Still loving it though.
      Have a happy 4th!

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