I'm so thrilled to kick off the 2016 Garden Tours today. While the submissions are coming in from all over the world, I'm happy to be starting close to home. Or rather...over the river and through the woods to the coast of Maine with artist and gardener, Lisa Estabrook. I hope you enjoy this glimpse into her colorful world as much as I have.
Welcome to her garden!
Gardener: Lisa Estabrook
Garden Location and Zone: Maine, Zone 5
Garden Size: About an acre
How long have you been gardening? Over 30 years
Amanda: Why do you garden?
Lisa: It starts as a creative urge. A desire to create a beautiful outside space. But that only scratches the surface. Gardening is integral to my health and well-being. It feeds my soul. It is my therapy, my workout and the source of my inspiration as an artist.
Amanda: How would you describe your garden?
Lisa: My garden is a work in progress (just like me). We bought our home in 2010. The land originally was wooded with a typical suburban lawnscape around a fairly uninspiring 70's home. I could see potential though. Each year I create new beds, restore some aspect of the woodland and let bits go wild to see what surprises the land holds. It's always changing shape, evolving. There is sort of an overarching plan, or vision, but mostly I'm just winging it and just working intuitively with the land. I'm constantly rearranging and dividing and generally working with what I have or what people give me. There are many areas I consider to be blank canvases awaiting new arrives when our budget allows.
Amanda: Where do you go for gardening inspiration?
Lisa: I go to my own garden!
Amanda: What are your favorite gardening books or resources?
Lisa: I have collected many books over the years but my favorite resource is the FEDCO annual tree catalog that I read from cover to cover each year in the dead of winter. Dreaming and imagining, and then make a huge shopping list that I never actually send in…
Amanda: What’s your biggest gardening challenge?
Lisa: Not having the money or the time or the energy to make all my garden dreams reality!! There will always be something to do, or some way to make it better, or something that is a challenge or something I’m not satisfied with. That’s the human condition though, (right?) and it’s something I’m working with on a daily basis with my gardening, my art, my family and my work. So I’m trying to focus on gratitude and realizing the abundance of all that I do have rather than focusing on all that I don’t. Really when I look back at the “gardens” when we moved in 6 years ago to what it looks like today, I realize how far I have come, both physically and personally. And that is what I try to focus on.
Amanda: If you have children, what role do they play in your gardening?
Lisa: I have three daughters. They mostly like to help me admire my work in the garden. :) Little do they know they are one of the main reasons why I garden. For now, they get to watch me find incredible peace and joy in my work and I hope it inspires them one day to join me...
Amanda: Can you tell us more about yourself?
Lisa: I am a mother, a graphic designer, an artist and an obsessive gardener. I have spent the last 30 years working in my various gardens, tending and talking to the flowers and plants that grow there. I love learning about the plants, not just from books or classes but also directly from my connection with them. While my life goes through many ups and downs, as its does for us all, it is in the garden that I find solace and healing. It is there that I learned to have a deep trust and confidence in my ability to be well and prosper.
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Thank you, Lisa, for sharing your garden!
(If you'd like to share your garden with us this season, send me an email for more details.)