Cart Search

2019 Annual Conference


March 07-10, 2019

submit Remember my login

2019 SPE Annual Conference: The Myths of Photography and the American Dream / Major support by The Joy Family Legacy Foundation

Looking for a chapter event?

Past SPE Annual Conferences

Laurie Blakeslee

SPE Member since 2011
Member Chapter: Northwest

40-Year Garden

For more than four decades, my mother-in-law Fritz has been gardening the same plot of land (approximately an 1/8 acre) behind her home in Boise, Idaho. Her children say they can hardly believe she maintained such a huge garden when she worked full time. Despite their protests to scale back the ambitious planting, each year the garden seems to expand. In the tremendous heat of late summer, even Fritz will admit she is overwhelmed by the work. Fortunately, my partner Stephanie shares her mother's love of gardening and works alongside her. Fritz's passion for gardening began at a young age. She won 4-H prizes for her vegetables and received a cultivator as an 8th grade graduation gift. She was born during the Depression, and her family valued the soil of their backyard garden. As a young girl, gardening was a way to please her mother by growing food for the family, as well as an escape from family tension. For Fritz, this vegetable garden not only provides food for her family (and her lucky neighbors), it also allows a space for meditation through the ritual of daily maintenance. It is clear that as Fritz, now in her mid 80s, grows older this garden provides a way to maintain her vitality. With the series "40-Year Garden" I am photographing a garden in all its seasons of transformation and the beauty of Fritz with her resilience and determination.

Tying Peas

Untitled (Fritz in the corn)


Untitled (Fritz in raspberries)

Red Onion

White Fencing

Broccoli Rabe

Late Summer

Planting Carrots

Planting Leeks

Mom's Lettuce

Fritz, Blackfoot, Idaho 1948


Email Sign Up

SPE email updates contain resources, news, and more!

About this piece

Comments about this piece

Dialogue and critique are important to the SPE mission.
Please join the conversation.

Exit Full Screen Mode