by germinatrix | February 15th, 2012
What a dream come true!
It was a lovely October day when Stephen Orr, (Big Cheese Garden Editor at MSL) and the wonderful photographer Juliana Sohn invaded my garden and made a little magic.
Somebody PINCH ME! See, me and Martha go way way WAY back – well, of course I’m not alone in that but I think the special allure of Martha is that we all feel personally connected to her. When I first started reading her magazine and watching her show, I felt we were LIKE THIS – BFF’s. All of those “good things” – well, they were for me … perfect solutions to the problems I was having in my brand new house and budding garden. I really hate the bottle my vinegar comes in Martha … well, Ivette, you can decant that vinegar into a bottle of your choice – and maybe put a sprig or two of your favorite herb in it as well! It will add flavor and visual appeal. Thank you Martha! I never liked vinegar so much!
So when Stephen Orr told me that they wanted me to be in a pictorial about garden bloggers, I almost choked on my tongue! YES YES YES … (I am not one to play hard to get). I looked around my garden and immediately thought “omigod. My garden super sucks! What can I do to get it in shape?”. But then sanity returned. My garden is my garden. Sometimes it looks great, and sometimes – yes – it super sucks. It is REAL. I didn’t want it to look like some hyper-perfect magazine garden! I want people to know that garden beauty is imperfect and changeable – it HAS to be that in order to be a real, living interaction with nature. So I didn’t do a big crazy “putting the garden in order” thing. No fluffing, no new plants. Just the same old friends that have been planted for years, a few additions from the last season, and I finally hung the circle planters that I got from Potted a few months ago. Basta.
It was amazing having Stephen and Juliana in the garden. They went through and created beautiful vignettes from little things that I had around my house, and I found myself asking “why didn’t I think of that?” Why? Well, because I am not a part of the Martha Stewart Living Brain Trust, that is why. These people have an extra flair; their third eye works purely in the space of design. That crappy little woven basket that had been hiding under the side table in the living room was discovered and filled with a bouquet of marjoram… and suddenly it was NOT crappy! It was GORGEOUS! I wanted one of those baskets – even though I already had one! THAT EXACT ONE! My life looked so amazing in their stylish hands. I am determined to live the life that it looks like I live on the pages of Martha Stewart Living.
They even changed my CLOTHES! This was a big issue. See, I have a certain thing – I have a very specific color palette when it comes to clothes (black, brown,maroon,dark blue,a little green – think of a bruise and you’ll get the idea) and I have a pretty defined style (kind of goth meets fly girl). This of course would look weird in the pages of the magazine – Martha is all about light, breeziness, and a dialed in sense of ease. I like having a dark, tattered edge. But I was flexible – I allowed myself to be photographed in blue jeans and a PINK SHIRT!!! I even smiled – mostly because Steve was constantly telling me how FANTASTIC I looked. I tossed my hair and smiled some more, looking into the camera with my chin down, trying to penetrate the lens like I learned from watching all 38 seasons of America’s Next Top Model. Juliana would smile gently from behind her camera and then I’d change my pose to something equally fabulous. My GOD, why didn’t I think of becoming a model?
Then my little dog Sadie trotted by and stole the show. Sigh. I knew it. I tried hard as I could to keep her hidden so all of the focus could be on ME… but charisma like hers is hard to keep under wraps. She was a total Eve Harrington, acting like my sweet innocent little dog – but all the while she was scheming to get in as many shots as she could. And wouldn’t you know it, Sadie ended up having a full page shot! OF COURSE! It could be that being a French Bulldog gave her an edge – Martha has two of her own. I don’t blame Sadie… she has to werk it. She’s a star!
At the end of the shoot, I made a batch of Tomato Water Martinis with a twist – I call them “Pomodoro” Martinis because I rim the glass with a clove of garlic and muddle basil into the fresh tomato liquid. You can find the recipe on the MSL blog At Home In The Garden. We were officially wrapped, so down came our hair and we commenced to enjoy the martinis while we danced salsa long into the evening. It was the best photo shoot I’d ever experienced.
Thank you Steve, for your friendship and enthusiasm! You made my garden more than it is! And Juliana, she of the magic camera – you can point your lens at me and my world ANY TIME!!!
I hope you all run out and get a copy – but hurry up, because I might just go crazy and by them all up myself!
XOXOXO Your Germinatrix