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How I love it!

27 comments


I was thinking about Art while watching telly this evening. And then my mind went to gardening as Art. And from there, I started to ponder that although I am definitely obsessed with gardening, I am not very interested in Gardening as ‘Art’. I think this is because usually, when a garden is presented on t.v. or in books as a historic or created ‘object’ (thinking now of Monty Don’s programmes, and Chelsea show gardens etc) they are generally about excess. Excess of money, excess of ego and often an excess of imposition (of a celebrated garden designer’s whim). Certainly I have been inspired by some show gardens, but the gardens of the ‘Great’ houses rarely interest me. I cannot usually identify with their creators, their owners or their scale. I have no aspirations to own more land than I can realistically care for. That doesn’t interest me at all. And when I see advertisements for garden events at places like Highgrove House in magazines, I have absolutely no desire whatsoever to take part in them. (I would love to visit Adam Frost’s though!) I rarely visit other ‘Open Gardens’. Most of them are way above anything I would aspire to in terms of scale and scope. My response tends to be….’oh how lovely it would be to live here and see this view every day…to have this much seclusion, to enjoy the sounds of a natural stream passing through your garden, to sit and relax with a G&T in this enormous glass house full of exotic gingers and orchids’….. But they don’t inspire me much because I know they are totally outside of anything I could ever achieve. Yes, I do feel a little bit envious…of course I do. But that’s an unsettling emotion and I’m always happy to leave and return to my reality. I’d like to see more ‘domestic’ gardens, but there aren’t many in Scotland that open up.

What touches my heart and soul, and keeps me excited to get outside, even in the depths of the Scottish winter is…Well, Its just ‘that’ really….its the activity of getting outside into the fresh air and planting and tending. Hearing the birdsong, seeing buds, feeling the earth in my hands. Recently I have realised that I am not even that fascinated by plants as I once thought I was. I have a plant palette that I love, and I tend to stick to it. Sometimes I branch out and try out new schemes, but they don’t last. Its always going to be trees, flowering shrubs, clematis, hellebores, evergreens, spring bulbs….etc. that will play the biggest roles in my garden. And increasingly, I find I am losing interest in even trying new and different plants, because after 30 years of gardening, I now know what grows well here in Eastern Scotland.

I guess I am a romantic at heart. I love being in nature and being ‘part’ of the life and soul of creation. Its a spiritual matter for me. I am compelled to caring for the birds, the frogs, the worms, even the dratted Moles and Mice! And that is what gardening gives me. It gives me the opportunity to take part in ongoing creation and opens my heart to awareness of the creative, sustaining and healing spirit. Now I hope that doesn’t sound over emotional or religious. It really isn’t. Its the simplest, most modest and basic activity. Its just simply enjoying taking part in growing plants and in thriving in my own soul through giving my time, energy, effort and love into helping in that process and enjoying the beauty of it. Its not about competitiveness, or showing off…definitely not that. I know you will understand…its not about how ‘good’ or ‘expert’ Or ‘skilled’ I can become either. I really don’t care how many mistakes I make or failures I have. I only care about the beauty of it. I only want to enjoy it and be gobsmacked daily by it. A bee on a Borage flower, a thrush in a berry bush, the sunlight’s endless ‘special effects’. And for this reason I can, and do honestly say that my ideal garden is the garden I have today. Because its the garden that I have, the garden that I am creating. My work and my field of dreams. And I can also say, quite truthfully, that the most inspiring gardens, for me, are the ones owned by the people who ‘get’ this. And you are some of those people. My friends who have encouraged me in my efforts and introduced me to even more beauty in your own outdoor dreams, ideas and ways of enjoying being in your own little ‘Eden’.

So, as we prepare to begin again, with the sowing, pricking out, potting on, planting out. The weeding, watering and feeding. The mowing, pruning, dead-heading and tie-ing in. As we get ready for the whole thrilling business to start over again. I hope you will, like me, be aware of just how very, very lucky we are to be here and be ready to receive a whole host of amazing blessings in 2019, whatever, wherever we are growing. Big or smaller, veg, fruit and flowers. Birds and Bees. What a privilege!

Rose ‘Grace’

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Comments

 

Lovely blog and rose Karen x

15 Jan, 2019

 

Thank you Stripes! X

15 Jan, 2019

 

What a fantastic blog! It sums up what the majority of us feel I am sure. I too have no interest in the gardens of stately homes, though you can admire the symmetry, but the complete purity (without weeds) makes you wonder what wildlife gets from it.
Show gardens again can be admired, but who wants to have pure white marble and black reflective pools when the leaves are falling from the trees and in my case the Peacocks are pooping on the marble.
Stunning 'feature' plants look good in that setting but with no combination plants are not much good for wildlife.
Now I like the look of an impressive Phormium as much as anyone, but it's another plant that our native wildlife probably don't get much out of. Lots of plants you can add to that, not that we need to boycott them, just add some extras for the wildlife!
I agree our own gardens are our creation of our dreams, mine is a microcosm of what the countryside used to be (in our dreams anyway) with more compacted and brighter flowers, but always with a mind to what they can do for birds, insects, frogs etc. Here our farms are mono-cultures, even the hedges are few and far between, where does our wildlife hide from the winter, nest and feed?
Luckily we have lots of open gardens to prowl round, ordinary people who love gardening, have weeds, their own outlook and ideas. They are so much fun to see and admire, speak to the owners about their passion and even add a few plants to your collection. Long may they continue to allow us to see them.
Don't get me started on 'Art'! I watch the Landscape Artist of the Year - isn't it strange that the people who used to be asked to pick one they could take home always chose one that actually looked like the view - and not what the 'experts' deemed the most impressive! What's wrong with painting something that looks like it is?

15 Jan, 2019

 

Re: Landscape artist of the year, I very much agree with you..Honeysuckle ... The winner wasn't my favourite.... I suppose it is all about a personal interpretation....Having only painted landscapes myself, I find myself being drawn to a more realistic style.

15 Jan, 2019

 

Beautifully out Karen, you should write a book!
I 'get it' and I'm totally on your wavelength, in fact my life is my garden for all the reasons you raise above :-)

15 Jan, 2019

 

I'm so with you Karen. Formal laid out gardens are all very nice, but they do nothing for me in the inspiration sense. If we are true gardeners, we should work with nature, not against her and encourage all that life that entails, be it worms, bees, birds, and even dare I say it... weeds. When I'm out in my garden (which might not be everyone's idea of a good garden) I'm filled with peace. It's my favourite place of all.

15 Jan, 2019

 

I 'get' you too. I love looking and at the time wish I had more space then I get back home and think 'well I'm not keeping on top of this am I?' I have too many other interests that now get in the way of being a full time gardener.

And that was my expectation when I retired. I imagined a beautifully tidy garden with few weeds that was always presentable. but not to be ;o)

15 Jan, 2019

 

Well, I am bowled over by all your comments! I have also been challenged a bit by what some of you say about the weeds. I shall try this year, to resist the urge to weed in my ‘wild’ corner behind the greenhouse. Thats where the plants are that I don’t want to lose and can’t decide where they ought to live. But it does get very weedy. :)

15 Jan, 2019

 

Lovely blog Karen. If you feel like having a good go at weeding then carry on. You are making great efforts to supply the needs of the 'other families' who share your garden. I'm sure they will not miss a few weeds. The great joy of living in the countryside is the abundance of available forage and also plenty of shelter.

15 Jan, 2019

 

And on top of all that by being out in the garden we see things we would otherwise miss -self sown primroses and dog violets under the hedge, a hellebore you'd forgotten you had, even just the glory of the changing sky and the robin's winter song. Yesterday raven flew croaking over the garden, and then flew back - goodness what it was doing four miles inland - they usually nest on the sea cliffs. I'm hopeless at garden design and not the best gardener in the world either but the joy I get from my patch is beyond compare.

15 Jan, 2019

 

Gardens mean different things to different people...I am sorry I don't do weeds, untidy perhaps, we like to encourage wildlife, but, not all wildlife, if it ruins the beautiful garden we have so lovingly created over many years.......our garden is our pride and joy, not just mine, it means as much to me as it does to my other half, we are lucky to be able to visit gardens of all sizes in Hampshire, we don't garden to suit other people, we garden to please ourselves, always willing to try something new and exciting, it keeps us young and motivated...

15 Jan, 2019

 

Hi Karen lovely blog, I couldn't have put it better myself, I agree with every word, Derek.

15 Jan, 2019

 

I cannot imagine life without a garden and it's so good to come on this site and share my passion with you my like-minded gardening friends, I seem to be surrounded by people in life generally who have no interest in gardening at all, they certainly don't get me, if I say I'll be gardening all day they look at me with a look of you poor thing, haha. I was talking to a friend about me finishing work a while back and he said yes but you'll just spend those days in the garden and I'm like yes absolutely!

16 Jan, 2019

 

That just about sums it all up Karen.

16 Jan, 2019

 

Dawn, I was just saying to Scott yesterday...Andy Murray having to give up playing is probably like me having to give up gardening!

Thanks Thorneyside! X

16 Jan, 2019

 

Angela...you are right to be proud of your beautiful garden. I am proud of mine too! :)

16 Jan, 2019

 

Thank you Karen, and rightly so.....
Dawn it disappoints us that our three daughters have no great interest in gardening, one has a slight leaning, likes a good design, she is an artist, so it's there!! I thought once they reached the over 50 mark, one of them might inherit the genes, we have a granddaughter who is showing signs, so you never know....who are we going to leave our cloud pruning and our beautiful plaited bay to...... probably be on eBay within a week of us popping our clogs lol!!

16 Jan, 2019

 

I agree about the gardens of stately homes. They are often vast, well-tended, but for me have a sterility I find somewhat off-putting. Smaller garden, even small areas in such gardens, often have an appeal these estates lack. I love trees and enjoy seeing how their outlines change with each season. I love flowers but, alas, I need someone else to create the "picture" for I am no artist.

I can be moved when I see a range of mountains ; a coastal outline; a lake surrounded by wild daffodils . For me there is a Power, infinitely great, in such places. To have the skill to even attempt to replicate such beauty in "miniature" awes me. That is one reason I enjoy this Group even though I contribute little.

On a lighter note: DD : our Older Son has become a garden-creator (with help!!), in his middle years; our daughter has become a dahlia lover! So there's hope!

16 Jan, 2019

 

A wonderful blog. I always try to keep in mind that many of our houses, and gardens, are now on land that was once fields, full of nature. We've lived in our house 25 years so it's not a new problem, but over that time we've seen how now people in the same estate are concreting their lawns to make driveways for cars, and cutting down trees, and hedges.
Makes me all the more determined to respect the land and remember that it belongs to all of us, birds, bees, butterflies, mice, whatever we're lucky enough to have come visit and share with us. Some people have far more exotic creatures than we'll ever see, but our garden friends, bathing, singing, nibbling or humming give us as much fun all year round as the flowers we plant. Twigpiles and weeds may not be everyone's cup of tea but a tiny corner is sometimes all that is needed.

16 Jan, 2019

 

Yes Sunny. My OH keeps asking me if we need a Mole Catcher. He struggles to understand that the Mole has a right to live here just as much as we do. If I could erect a barrier to keep him out, I would. But there we are...we can’t. And I’m not interested in killing him...or her! However, Badgers, Rabbits and Deer can be incredibly destructive, and if you have to live with them....then its hard to see how you could keep a beautiful garden unless perhaps you went totally wild and embraced Permaculture with its woodland ideal. I myself wouldn’t have an issue with living in a semi-natural woodland...but it would be completely different to what we have now. I suppose, ultimately, its a case of being realistic and practical according to your environment and what creatures you share your plot with. Maybe this year I will be invaded by rabbits and then I’ll be eating my words! Having said that, I’m sure Iwould still find a way of gardening!

16 Jan, 2019

 

Gosh, I don't think I've ever seen a mole or a badger in real life, certainly not a live one. It must be hard if visitors ruin your work, even if they don't do it on purpose. Still think they sound far more fun than human neighbours!

17 Jan, 2019

 

No, I've never seen a Badger or a Mole either Sunny....except dead on the roadside or dead in my garden (the mole) after Molly the JR Terrier found and dispatched one.

17 Jan, 2019

 

Hello ,thanks you for a lovely blog .
I am totally on your wavelength

18 Jan, 2019

 

just remember that weeds are often British natives. A neighbour commented on some of my weeds and because I knew what they were; common and scientific name I just pointed out they were for the native insects etc.
A couple of years ago I found an elephant hawk moth chrysalis in the green house. it had been feeding on willow herb that was growing behind the greenhouse.

18 Jan, 2019

 

Mossy! How lovely to hear from you again. Hope you are well and that the business is going well too. :)

Thanks SBG...good point.

18 Jan, 2019

 

I couldn't agree with you more, Karen. I'll just leave it at that.

18 Jan, 2019

 

Mossy, lovely to see you back on GOY, how's that beautiful garden of yours?

18 Jan, 2019

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