Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Gardening for the soul

I read this book in which a preacher kid learned to let go and have a garden. This strait laced competitive American control freak lands in the English countryside and learns the beauty of an bearded iris and the wonders of a cottage garden where there's not a straight line to be seen, no lawnmower, and things just you know, GROW.

After 20 different quotations from published authors as if uncertain that his point of view was even valid (if you got it from a book, it must be!) he finally learns to just sit still and smell the roses instead of spraying them into submission.

I have thought about this as I walked around the garden today and saw my plantings establishing themselves, the lemon balm's scented leaves, the parsley, the feathery fennel, the delicately scented sweet peas and nasturtiums twining their way along the border. The narrow strip of land between our lawn and the neighbours driveway has been reclaimed. That bit is mine but it sits adjacent to the large expanse of lawn cut to an inch of its life, and where dad hadn't mowed, I barely noticed until he pointed out to me that he neglected to cut that bit of grass where the lawn mower had run out of petrol.

I have never once said to Dad that he must mow the lawns ever, but I imagine it is pre-programmed into his brain that he must do it or risk...what exactly? Butterflies and bees? Daisies? Hundreds and  thousands of yellow creeping buttercups strewn like confetti over the backyard? A meadow?

It's a bit hard to romp in this garden if there's nothing really to romp about in. I've considered we just roll up the turf and install fake grass which may look just as good. People do it all the time at silly season, fake trees, fake snow, fake reindeer, coming after the fake ghosts and fake blood and bone of Halloween. My garden could conceivably become one of those fake landscaping design projects in which everything is all lines on a page and no soul.

Anyway, just my thoughts. Hurry up global warming, can't wait for the day petrol is going to run out and then all the lawnmowers and cars are silenced and we can just get back to real gardening again.