A growing number of gardeners are choosing to use their garden as a means of self-expression rather than as a work of art.
The new book, The Gerts Garden, is an ambitious effort to show the value of the art and craft in gardening, but it is also a celebration of a small but powerful group of gardenists who, despite having only recently begun to produce gardens, are shaping the way we think about gardens and our relationship to nature.
Author Gert R. Gibbs (who passed away in August) published his book in the fall of 2012, and has since been honored with the 2014 GertRudy Award, a tribute to the American author and illustrator.
As he told The Huffington Post in an email, he and his wife, Judy, began the book with the goal of writing about the Gert, and they were delighted to discover that the Gitts had also produced several books about the artist and his life, and he had the chance to meet the artists, writers and collectors who had inspired them.
The book explores Gert’s career and career trajectories, from the small-town Kansas farm where he began his garden in the 1930s to his long career as a writer and artist in Kansas and abroad.
(The Gibbses own home in Kansas City, Mo., is a favorite location for Gert to visit.)
The book is set in an era of increased conservation efforts and organic gardening, as well as the rise of the digital and digital-friendly era.
“I don’t think anyone had thought about the impact that technology would have on the natural world,” Gibbs said.
“Gert has really changed our world.
And it’s just been amazing to see the impact.”
In a book about his life and career, Gibbs said he always wanted to be an artist, and that was a central theme in the book.
“If you’re an artist and you’re trying to create something that makes a difference, it’s hard,” he said.
So he decided to create a book that celebrates the artists who have helped him develop his garden.
The result is a fascinating and often humorous look at the work of many of the world’s most famous gardeners, from Gert and his mother, Gerta, to artists like David Allen and Peter Kropotkin.
“We want to make it a celebration and a tribute of the artists we admire, and I think it’s really important that we’re looking at the artists that have made the world a better place,” Gibbs told The Washington Post.
“This book is a collection of those artists, and it’s the art that we use as a tool for the garden, and to share with the world.
It’s all about the art.”
He said he was particularly drawn to a collection called The Garden of Eden, by British author Mary Shelley.
“The Garden of Creation,” which is part of a series that include The Garden Of Eden and The Garden, by John Milton, is a book written by a woman who is the wife of one of the most famous English authors of the time.
“She said, ‘I’ve been reading about this book, and when I read the book, I didn’t know that there was another book about Mary Shelley,’ ” Gibbs said of the author’s relationship with the author.
“But it’s amazing.
I was very happy to find this book.”
He also wanted to include the work by the artist Harry Houdini, whose paintings are often associated with the Guths.
“Houdini’s paintings are great,” Gibbs continued.
“They’re very much part of the culture.
You can’t put them anywhere else.
He’s such an icon.”
In his introduction to the book he says that in the early 1970s, while living in the United Kingdom, Gibbs began working on his first book about the garden.
“He was really interested in the art of the garden and the gardening as a way of life,” Gibbs recalled.
“And that’s really what inspired me to start this book.
I’m very proud of the fact that he inspired me.”
The Gibbses say the book’s message is a reminder that gardens are about the earth, not just about our individual lives, and a celebration that makes the garden more meaningful.
“In some ways, it is the antithesis of a book,” Gibbs explained.
“A book about how you can get a better job, get an education, become a more independent, have more control of your life, or a book where you can learn a language.”