I’ve never done anything but dream. This, and this alone, has been the meaning of my life. My only real concern has been my inner life. FERNANDO PESSOA

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Garden Wilderness

Acacia

I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show. ANDREW WYETH

Crab apple

I trust your Garden was willing to die ... I do not think that mine was — it perished with beautiful reluctance, like an evening star — EMILY DICKINSON (From a letter to her Aunt Katie Sweetser, 1880)

Neglected herb patch

12 comments:

The Weaver of Grass said...

I like the skeleton trees best too Robertm particularly in Lincolnshire where you see them against a background of ploughed earth.

Gail said...

I too love the still bare wonder of Winter - it is a time for quiet reflection and renewing one's strength for what is to come. And Winter has been tricked some - our Butterfly bush began to grow again - thinking it was Spring. Mother Nature is always a wonder, a magical wonder.
Love to you
Gail
peace......

Herringbone said...

I like these very much. "Bone Structure" I'll be thinking about this as I look around today!

George said...

I like this title, Robert—"Garden Wilderness"—because it defies conventional wisdom that gardens are simply the cultivated creations of humans. We can influence a garden, of course, but we can never really take the wilderness out of it. When I am cleaning up our gardens after the summer, I'm always amazed to discover the hidden worlds that went unnoticed as my eyes remained focused upon the ripe vegetables, fruit, and blossoms. The deeper we go into things, the more wilderness we find. I also like the quotes, especially the one by Andrew Wyeth. Stripped of their summer garments, trees offer amazing designs against the backdrop of winter skies.

Kiwi Nomad 2008 said...

Coming from a different hemisphere, I am in a different season, and our trees are covered with the lushness of leaves- and I love seeing them like that! Each season has its time. Next winter I will enjoy the bare skeletons again- but for now I revel in the lushness!
Margaret

Laura said...

Great post - the Wyeth quote was especially poignant for me. I grew up in Southeastern Pennsylvania, very close to Andrew Wyeth's home and I know the winter of which he speaks.

Last weekend I went around our yard (now in Oregon) with the clippers and was able to make several arrangements from the winter stage of various plants - I have missed these other years, but there is such beauty in the twigs and berries and dried bits.

Paul Sunstone said...

@ George: I think you are correct. Beautifully expressed, too.

What you say puts me in mind of a point that a friend of mine was making the other day -- he mentioned that we have a tendency to think of ourselves in nature only when we have left our urban environments. Yet, that is wrong -- even the crow on the city sidewalk is nature.

ksam said...

Love the Wyeth quote...living as near as I do to his home! And, for my money, one of the best answers to some who live in lush tropical climes, and puzzle why I so love living with the four seasons. It's that feeling than you only get to really glimpse at more of the story when it's laid bare in winter! Oh and then, the return of the green!

Rachel Fox said...

My Mum was the gardener here so you can imagine... it's all looking a bit wilder now. I was just talking to friends about it today... I kind of like it. But then I do have a poem about uptight/tidy gardeners (called "Rosebuds all").
x

The Solitary Walker said...

Pat — I love the architectural landscape of winter, the skeletal trees against ploughed earth, the church spires against the yellow icon of the moon.

Gail — Yes, I so much agree with you...

Herringbone — Thanks for visiting...

George — Wonderful comment! If you read about the history of gardens and gardening, it's totally fascinating: that pull between wildness and cultivation, between the human desire to make human order and nature's desire to make natural order - two processes which can sometimes seem at odds, but actually are very close, as humans are part of nature too (although it seems at times we are aberrations of nature)!

Kiwi — 'Each season has its time'. Yes. I like that.

Laura — The beauty in the bare twigs and frosted branches, the dried, woody detritus of autumn, the vivid berries ... is just as breathtaking as the green, lush leaves of summer, yes, perhaps even more so, though I hate comparisons...

Paul — Thanks for your comment, and welcome to my blog!

Karin — Everything's in the contrast, isn't it, the change from one season to another. I love the four seasons, and would hate to live in a place which was less seasonally different.

Rachel — I once knew a gardener who had a pristine, symmetrical, inch-perfect, not-a-gnome-out-of-place garden with a football-field green, weed-free lawn and rows of exactly spaced, garish flowers. He used to spend every hour of his spare time creating this soulless 'paradise'. Not for me, and not for you. 'Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.' PS Did you plant any winter pansies in the end?

Paul Sunstone said...

Thanks for the welcome! You have a wonderful blog here.

Ruth said...

I think you already know how I feel about this, Robert. I admire not only the bare bones of the trees, but the decayed and decrepit plants, their dried and leaning heads. I truly almost prefer them to their fluffy counterparts, and who knows what that's about? Something about wabi-sabi-ness, I suppose.