I am Mary Meppelink and I have been a gardener since the age of four, when my parents promised me a rake, hoe and shovel set for singing a solo in front of our church. Gardening was clearly more important than solo performances. I had admired my dad’s vegetable garden, the tulips lining the streets in my home town of Holland, Michigan, and the beautiful parks maintained by a cadre of Dutch gardeners who learned their craft from old world Dutch experts. Over time I have struggled to grow food and ornamentals as well as they have, without the benefit of hundreds of years of culture to draw upon. I always knew that I wanted to garden using natural methods and subscribed to Organic Gardening Magazine when J.I. Rodale was editor. Over time, trial and error, I have searched to expand the concept or organic, bringing it up to date with the latest discoveries of soil science, taste (brix values), and pest control.
I have lately felt that gardening deserves to be elevated to the art that it is. Poets and artists have always drawn upon plants and gardens for inspiration and imagery. I have begun to explore these connections through photography and poetry. A large part of gardening is seeing – textures, colors, and designs both accidental and purposeful – along with thinking, not only about technique, but also about the nature of growth and life itself. Poetry opens these doors to perceptions and understanding that are otherwise difficult to access.
To expand and explore the experience of gardening is my hope and goal. Welcome to the journey!
Update (added June 2015)
Robert, my husband, and I create images together combining our perspectives and skills, with the goal of inspiring, seeing the hidden and unexpected, and finding the often overlooked juxtapositions in nature.
One of our favorite perspectives is a subtle natural surrealism where the impossible is presented as a glimpse into an alternate reality where the world is not tied to the laws of Newtonian physics, but surpasses them.
Another favorite perspective is the visual language of lush rain forests, with overflowing fruit, flowers, water, rocks, and rich earth, where everything is abundant, especially human intuition.
“one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much pr
actice”, said the Queen.
“When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why
Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before
breakfast” –Lewis Carroll