Chronicle Mid May 2008 | Chronicle July 2008

"The man who has planted a garden feels that he has done something for the good of the world." Charles Dudley Warner or Vita Sackville-West

June 2008

It’s now the turn of the alliums to dominate the garden, but there’s much more besides. The explosion is still continuing. The beginning of June is tulip time in our garden and the month when the flowers in the fruit garden are at their best, with decadent poppies and erect alliums dancing a brilliant tango. Monet’s poppies might be beautiful, but...

Having a garden is a bit like tending a jungle, but it’s great fun if you can cope. Some key words:  time, strength, and possibilities. After 10 or so years in our garden, I now realise that we’ve come quite a long way. Things could have happened more quickly, but perhaps we needed these 10 years to really get underway with something we believe in.

We’ve been attempting to create a garden which is a slightly different, and what we have so far is only the beginning. Much of what is planted, and has been planted, requires many years before it takes shape, before it becomes something. You live with hope, with despair…hope feels much better. There’s something exciting about a garden and the expectations it evokes. But the greater the expectations, the greater the disappointments…still, that’s how it is.

Think of everything that’s just disappeared in our garden – what happened, where did they go? Then, so many other things happen and your spirits rise again. There’s always something new to plant. Perhaps that’s what really counts when one has a garden: let it die and then plant something new.

It’s a never-ending process here in the garden and I’ve picked up knowledge along the way. I’ve forged contacts and met many people. In fact, at an early stage I was extremely lucky to meet a number of gardening people who’ve inspired me. Not all of those contacts have lasted, but the knowledge I’ve gained from people in the gardening world has –and it’s been quite remarkable.

No garden is created in a void and knowledge must be acquired. The people I’ve met over the course of the years have been the teachers in my informal gardening training. There’s always something new to learn and I’m just as keen as ever. Sometimes the thought occurs to me: do I really know about this?

I’ve made mistakes, we’ve made mistakes. Oh yes, plenty of them. I remember that when we came here ten years ago, I was already eager, overeager.  I wanted to buy everything. My advice to newcomers to gardening – don’t rush into things. Read up on things, take notice of things. Be tenacious, inquisitive and curious. You learn things as you go. Mistakes are made and new ones are bound to be made in the future; it’s a hell of lot of work but also inspiring.

Now, when I walk around the garden at half past ten at night, all my senses tell me that GARDENS ARE LIFE.

Garden greetings from

A Gentleman Gardener