Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Gardens of dreams

What garden do you see when you close your eyes?

I think of a garden in winter, with heavy frost and low light. My feet crunch down a gravel path between solid dark evergreen walls of hedges. At intervals a gap in the hedge opens to show a perfect flat lawn and beyond it clipped box pyramids; maybe some variegated holly to lift things just a little. At the end of the gravel path, a beautiful elaborate wrought iron gate with dew-covered spiders' webs spangled through it.

Or a hammock strung between trees, and all around it a sea of tall swaying grasses, seedheads intermingled with the tops of poppies, cornflowers, and the big daisies. Butterflies shimy through it all and bees hum - everywhere but in your glass of homemade lemonade as you doze in the hammock.

Or a grotto with a waterfall and ferns. Shiny slippery rocks, a carefully placed mirror, it's edges hidden by creepers, and deep-pile moss making hillocks where you can reach to bounce your palm on it gently.

One of those trendy modern seating areas - a firepit in the middle, chaiselongues around it, little hanging lanterns, a tiled floor, and lots of night-scented plants - evening primrose, nicotiana, and a canopy of honeysuckle.

Or a lovely big hen-run!

(PS In reality what I mainly see when I close my eyes is large clumps of whatever weed I've spent most time pulling up that day)


  1. Yeah, I see those weeds, too...but the garden that's in my mind keeps me going to keep on pulling!

  2. Oh weeds! weeds! That is what I see in my dreams - groundsel, chickweed, speedwell to name but three. Do you know this poem?
    Suckers and seeds, the weeds will win.
    We'll 'ave the 'ole world for our own.
    And oh how glorious will come in
    the era of the great self-sown.

  3. Well that's funny because I find when I have had a day working hard on ground elder or bind weed I can close my eyes and i am still doing it. I thought I was a bit quirky with this.

    However I don't have to close my eyes to think of the nicer parts of my garden.

  4. Every year we go on the garden tour here. Well, nearly every year. And every year we come home to our garden with fresh eyes. This is the first year our garden didn't disappoint. Still things to be done, but not at all disappointing.
    I dream of what's to come.

  5. Hi, thanks so much for checking out my little garden/home/family blog! I am thrilled to talk with a gardener from England :). We are here in Seattle, with what I understand to be a somewhat similar climate, and I am so smitten with English gardening books and culture. Graham Thomas, David Austin, Gertrude Jeckyle (sp), and so many more that I can't quite recall.

    When I close my eyes to think of a garden I see a circlet of green, embraced by the arms of roses, with larkspur, feverfew, and violas at their feet. I am in the middle, and very, very safe and calm. Barefoot in the grass, the circuit is completed, and I am forged.

    Again, so thrilled to meet you!

  6. Hi Emily, thats just what I was going to say, except tonight I will probably be dreaming of sheep due to it being shearing day.

  7. Hmmmm, tonight the Mirror idea is hitting the spot...I'll probably close my eyes and wage a war between a very well kept, well contained, well planned garden, and a wild, patched, every which going every which way band lf flowers gathering to take over known existence. My guess is I will probably do a combination of the two. In reality, that is.

  8. There's a moral here: I churn out some pseudo poetic ramblings, with a snippet of earthiness at the end, and guess which bit rings true and gets nearly all the comments? But without the ramblings, the last would just be bitterness.

    Thanks for the poem, Weaver - no, I'd not heard it. Sounds like a horticultural revolution! And interestingly it sounds like Red Clover's alternative vision too.


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