Weeds to Wildflowers
In 2020, I began an exploration that had intrigued me since I moved back to the family homestead in upstate New York. I was curious about the weeds my mother and I used pull from her vegetable garden every spring. What were they, really? Could some of them be wildflowers?
That year, I decided to let them grow.
By summer the garden had become a wild field of fleabane, red clover, apple mint, wood asters, brown-eyed Susans and more.
I also noticed a proliferation of bees, dragonflies and butterflies returning to the garden – some of which I hadn’t seen since childhood.
This prompted a multi-year project of transforming the entire yard into a biodynamic eco-garden, which also informs my artistic explorations into the interconnectivity of nature for my artwork.
In 2022, with the help of iNaturalist, I began identifying all the plant species on the property, allowing sections of the yard to grow wild as I chronicled my discoveries as well as the stories and memories behind each plant. In the course of my explorations, I discovered an American elm tree growing underneath the porch (that Mom repeatedly tried to remove) and field pennycress that may become part of a national research project on climate change. To date, my inventory has reached well over 50 plant species.
I am not a trained naturalist. I am simply an artist who has been gardening since childhood, an observer of nature exploring the history of my little garden and yard as I contemplate much larger questions about the future of our environment and humanity.
CLICK IMAGE to read Serena Kovalosky’s journal on the development of The Eco-Garden Project.
CLICK IMAGE for an All-Taxa Biodiversity Inventory of plant species identified to date and the artist’s stories behind each plant.