The Garden ChallengeSunday, July 18, 2021
“We're all assigned a piece of the garden, a corner of the universe that is ours to transform.” – Marianne Williamson
Whether one is dynamic, blasť or even an unnoticed participant in The Rock's on or offline gardening guild, once you have the interest in art, you have the ever-roving verdant eye which garners inspiration through the admiration of the work of fellow gardeners. It is this intuitive eye which has led to the advancement of Jamaica's online presence in the international gardening community.
Gardening proves the hypothesis that creativity is not only contagious but also that it can be energetically passed from one to another. While fact-checkers have debunked the attribution of the quote “Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.” to Einstein, the great theoretical physicist did provide sage advice which should bolster the confidence of any apprehensive gardener when he said, “I am enough of the artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” After all, in the poignant words of Wilde, “A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament. Its beauty comes from the fact that the author is what he is. It has nothing to do with the fact that other people want what they want.”
It is this creative contagion that has led to Nickesha Guscott-Roach's online chronicling of her online guest participation in the One Room Challenge.
As per its website, oneroomchallenge.com, the One Room Challenge, which is currently in its 19th season, “is a widely anticipated biannual event…Each round, 20 design influencers are selected to take the challenge…and transform a space. Every Wednesday, the designers document their processes while sharing their sources and professional advice over six weekly posts. In addition to following along, everyone with a blog or Instagram account is welcome to join the fun as a guest participant by linking their own room transformations up during the six weeks…the Internet and social media are flooded with interior design inspiration, ideas and encouragement…To date, more than 4,800 rooms have been transformed.”
The One Room Challenge evidences the power of the Internet as an international inspirational tool of visual and intellectual expansion and exposure. It is a catalyst for creativity which ignites passion in the hearts and minds of those of us who may feel that we are creatively and artistically challenged. Through the visual experience of observation, it provides an education within itself.
Nickesha's garden transformation
In describing her One Room Experience as a guest, Nickesha shares, “On May 5, 2021, I was introduced to a worldwide group of people who twice a year choose a do-it-yourself project, mostly at their homes. Each person holds the other accountable as they work to finish the project within eight weeks. We check in via the website every Thursday and share where we are at and where we are going.”
Nickesha's progression throughout the challenge was as follows:
Week 1: Choose a room (her backyard) and create a mood board.
Week 2: Layout the project as best as possible and start removing debris from the yard.
Week 3: Use a string and spray paint to mark the seating area and remove grass. Nickesha was “a human compass” during the exercise and grass removal took longer than anticipated.
Week 4: Keep digging and prep area for plants.
Week 5: Add lawn separators, gravel for seating area, gravel for under the clothes line and carve an area under the pipe by adding gravel and pavers.
Week 6: Start adding plants, use pallets to build a couch (this was difficult and led to many splinters in her fingers), make couch cushions and covers (this was more expensive than originally thought even though it was do-it-yourself).
Week 7: Paint line polls, paint back wall and stencil pattern, add trellis for plants, clean, paint and stencil back patio, build cabana from bamboos found on the road by Irish town. Nickesha felt that she was so close to finishing that she had no time to doubt herself.
Week 8 (“Reveal Week”): This is where it was time to clamp down and in Nickesha's words “where everything becomes beautiful” – paint wall for projector, assemble cabana and stage, make an old wheelbarrow into a beautiful planter and add water feature.
Nickesha's big reveal definitely proves the saying right: “Challenge yourself': It's the only path which leads to growth.” In this case, her One Room Challenge experience has resulted in both internal and external growth and beauty emanating from her reinvigorated garden space and also from her rejuvenated spiritual place and character.
Challenging your creativity
Today's Garden Sunday School lesson is inspired by the Gardens of Eden and Gethsemane where we are intrinsically rooted. As we set new goals, challenging ourselves and our creativity in our gardens and also in our daily lives, we must have the faith and courage of the mustard seed, its creative resilience and growth. The mustard seed, “when it is sown in the earth, though it is less than all the seeds that are on the earth, yet when it is sown, grows up, and becomes greater than all the herbs, and puts out great branches, so that the birds of the sky can lodge under its shadow.” (Mark 4:30-32). Challenge yourself and watch yourself grow!
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