Thursday, August 28, 2008


I stumble over my thoughts about why we garden.
What levels of horticultural perfection I saw at Longwood. Such painstaking preservation at Mt. Cuba Center. The humbling wonder of Bartram.
I wonder why each of us gardens. Obsessively fighting the elements and seducing them, though we are at their will. This search on-line, through nurseries, catalogues and magazines for the perfect plant, the ideal concept expressing our individual sense of “Garden”. Certainly it stems from our love of nature, of the elements. But I wonder, too, if there isn’t a tinge of “unfashionable” guilt behind it. Guilt for the “un-gardening” of the world, so we can have cheap shoes, faster travel,more exotic fruits in the middle of winter.
I’m all for global trade.
I don’t know what I’d do with out bananas and olive oil. Cheap shoes. My truck,which keeps me working as a gardener.
I’m starting to think that Meis van der Roeh was right, though.: “Less is more”.
Less cultivation allows for more appreciation. My restless spring days are behind me. Late summer presents time for relaxation. Contemplation.
Yes, and cultivation. I can’t imagine this time of year without the gaudiness of dahlias; that requires deadheading. Or October without pumpkins, or apples; that requires harvesting.
This is what vacation is for. To remember. To remember to slow down.
Why is someone else’s garden more Eden than our own?
Because toil is vanquished and appreciation and contemplation rush forward flooding us with a joy so deep as to be immeasurable?
These are just my thoughts in a agrden where I don’t garden. But they are thoughts I’d like to pay heed to. It seems a shame I had to fly to he other side of the continent to find them in Bartram’s Garden