Magnificent Obsession:
Spring in the Garden

Spring Garden - Blythe Hurley

It has always been hard for me to tear myself away from my garden to put together the June issue of keepgoing.org. Those lost hours are painful during the season of doing in the dirt—the time when you have to hurry to get things in the ground before July’s baking heat makes planting anything new seem slightly ludicrous. Sitting in front of a computer, pecking away at other people’s words is not where I want to be when the heat and wet of June are calling, calling, calling from the backyard. This is the time of year when I need to dig.

I have always wished that I could be a painter, that I could draw or sculpt or do just about anything having to do with the visual arts. But that was never my talent. How lucky I am, therefore, to have discovered this gift for green, this ability to shape my world into a carnival of color, shape, form, and texture that never fails to lift my spirits. I am privileged to work alongside the most awe-inspiring collaborator any artist could ask for: nature itself, a never-ceasing engine of creation and entropy.

I often ponder what my neighbors must think of me, knowing how much time I put into my tiny little patch of mother earth. How to explain that when the news on TV is heartbreaking, that when things are not what I would wish even in my own home, turning to the comfort of riotous orange and cool purple, of worms churning in freshly turned soil is a priceless solace? Finding beauty wherever I turn my eyes is consolation for the ugliness of the world.

Elsewhere in this issue I have addressed the question of what the creative staff behind keepgoing.org will be up to next. For myself, I have already been knee deep in another project for years: the reshaping of my tiny Chicago lot into a jewel box of a city garden. This spring and summer have proven to me that my work has not been in vain. With little time to spend in the garden (hello, baby!), I have been pleased to witness much that I have set in motion in years past come to fruition while I do little besides sit back and watch.

Now, like any artist, all I need is an audience—someone to come and critique or admire the fruits of my labor. If you’re reading this and you’re curious to see the whole picture beyond the limited images I have shared with you for the last two years, drop me a line. I’d be pleased as punch to share my magnificent obsession with each and every one of you in person.

Spring Garden - Blythe Hurley

Spring Garden - Blythe Hurley

Spring Garden - Blythe Hurley

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