about this blog



This blog tracks the ongoing changes of my garden, and the wildlife I try to attract to it. It's a nature blog. It contains my thoughts and musings about anything and everything to do with nature - gardening, book reviews, philosophy, travel, science, history, art, design, politics.
Catmint is my signature plant because it has all the qualities I value in a plant: resilience, beauty and the capacity to spread prolifically . Unfortunately it's not indigenous. If I was starting again I'd probably choose an indigenous plant.

Monday, 23 January 2012

levels of garden






I'm thinking garden thoughts ...

... thinking not so much of types of gardens as levels of garden. Dream garden (unconscious garden), garden in the mind (mental garden), blog garden (garden in cyberspace) and the 'real' physical garden that can be seen outside the windows and that needs muscle power to influence.

... thinking about how these levels of garden are inter-related but different, and how they have evolved over time. For instance, I don't know how my ongoing dream garden affects the others. What I know is that my dream garden is so big that I can't really manage it. There are parts that are totally uncontrolled / beyond control, other bits that I manage to create garden pictures in. Now that I think of it,  I can only manage a bit of it because I leave most of it. It's big and shadowy - I don't dream in colour. I love this dreamscape and look forward to being there in intermittent dreams.
















There is a kind of a conversation between the garden in the mind and the physical garden. For decades I would have grand ideas for re-arranging the garden, unable to decide on an acceptable structure. That is the reason that it is over 30 years old and still has so many small trees.

Lately when I walk in the garden I'm not thinking about changing things so drastically. I notice the trees slowly growing and imagine what it will look like when it's not so vertically challenged.

I think about how the garden can be a site for enchantment -  attracting as many wild things as possible,  and keeping human intervention to a minimum. One idea is to do more photographing of teddy bears and other toys in the garden, to illustrate their various adventures. Another is to build simple cubbies or platforms in the trees for my little grandchildren. There are three nesting boxes for wildlife and I want to provide something similar for J and S.


I have learned that, just like the physical garden, I can ignore the blog garden for a while and  it will still be there when I get back. One has spam to get rid of, the other has weeds. Like weeds, some spam is worse than others. And sometimes you get unplanned precious things, like wildflowers self seeding, and wonderful cyber-friends who provide support and motivation and ideas and information and inspiration.

24 comments:

  1. The Grand children seem to like it. No garden is ever finished as it evolves, so we evolve.

    ReplyDelete
  2. children would love walking bare footed among plants and plants...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Catmint, I eally like your idea of the garden existing on a number of levels, actual and felt, defined and yet to be. And that the garden isn't just a space out there we sometimes enter, but a space inside us.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think my physical garden will have to be my dream garden too, it has taken so long to make that I really have put all my ideas into this garden here and would hate to start again anywhere else.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great comparisons. This is a complex topic. I have the same frustrations/dreams/goals as you do. Sometimes I have doubt whether or not I've done the right things. But people always say that a garden is never truly finished. While I agree with that statement to a degree....there are still bones that need placing in the garden....and I haven't done all that work yet for the artsy stuff:)

    ReplyDelete
  6. (I was startled when I realised people, other people, dream in pictures, never mind colour. I dream in words, as if I'm reading a book). My garden is the theory-idea-plan, then what I think I see, and finally what the camera tells me is there!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Dear Hermes, lovely to hear from you, fellow evolver.

    Dear Bangchik, I suppose I would love the children to feel at home among nature instead of being scared like some people.

    dear Faisal, beautifully put, I really like that idea of space as a place as well as metaphor.

    Dear Pauline, that is very interesting, a dream garden is not necessary. I don't choose it, it just inhabits my dreams.

    Dear RB (Chris?), your comment I think can be linked to Hermes' opening comment: the garden doesn't evolve independently of our evolution. Yes it is a complex topic, and I so love 'talking' about it with you.

    Dear Diana, dreaming in words must affect the content of the dream????? Maybe there needs to be another level: that of what the camera tells?

    cheers, catmint

    ReplyDelete
  8. I never really thought how all gardens are interrelated. Very interesting thoughts. So true about the spam and weeds. What has helped me with spam is I moderate comments on posts older than three days. It has saved a lot of work. I wish I could moderate weeds! Cute toddler!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think of my dream garden a lot. Sometimes so much, that I'm surprised when I go out in my real garden! My dream garden has no weeds, all the plants are mature, they bloom constantly, never needs any maintenance, and the weather is always perfect there. My real garden is just the opposite!

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a lovely and thought provoking post Catmint. My garden, like Hermes', is very slowly evolving from what was put there by the previous owners to the garden I'd like it to be....and my knowledge, skills and pleasure are evolving at the same time!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Lovely post. I can be inspired and tempted - gardening can be fun and hard work. One of the best things is 'there's always next year.' Some years when I don't get things quite right, don't make the changes I had planned on, or we have a drought and almost nothing survives, I can still sit here in the middle of winter and remember what was or wasn't and plan for the garden I hope to have.

    ReplyDelete
  12. So true! I have lay awake at night cultivating my garden time and again.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Now I can understand why each year my dad will find time to paint the unused swings and slide in their garden when it is hardly been used. Now when the grandchildren is back for a visit, its their turn to have memories with the garden.

    ReplyDelete
  14. You've pulled some things together in my mind and connected them for me, thank you. I love your idea that we all have these gardens at different levels...brilliant!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Beautiful post, catmint! It reminded me of this quote:

    "From December to March, there are for many of us three gardens: the garden outdoors, the garden of pots and bowls in the house, and the garden of the mind's eye." Katharine S. White

    ReplyDelete
  16. hi Tine, so far (touch wood) I haven't suffered too much from spam.

    Hi Holley, I believe you share your dream garden with lots of others - it sounds like paradise!

    Hi NG, all this evolving is sometimes hungry, tiring work, don't you find?

    HI CJ, I think what is useful here is taking the longer time frame, we certainly have good and bad years.

    Hi Kathy, beats counting sheep, much more interesting ...

    Hi Diana, I love to think of different generations coming today in gardens.

    Hi RL, so pleased you like the post.

    Hi JGH, thanks for the comment - I like that quote too.

    cheers, catmint

    ReplyDelete
  17. I laughed when you mentioned spam. Yes they are like weeds haha... And I truly appreciate cyber gardening friends also. Many times, they (including yourself) are really good motivators. Btw Catmint, you have a wonderful old garden!! :-D

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hello Catmint :) The idea of something like nest boxes for grandchildren - that's wonderfully whimsical! I love the idea that all of the different levels of garden can intersect and intertwine.

    ReplyDelete
  19. dear Steph, thank you for the compliment about me having a wonderful old garden. I need all the encouragement I can get, especially in the middle of a hot summer.

    thanks for the comment GG, I hope I manage to make the idea of the children's nesting boxes a reality.

    cheers, catmint

    ReplyDelete
  20. I really enjoyed reading this post; it is true what you say ... gardening is a vision in our inner deep conscience that we then attempt to invent in the real world. Many of us never meet our full potential, but we try !

    ReplyDelete
  21. what a lovely post. I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  22. thanks B&B, and Wendy, for your visits and comments. cheers, catmint.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Little late to this post but its a great one! It sounds like you were having a rather enchanting moment yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  24. dear Jess, never too late, your comment is deeply appreciated. cheers, catmint

    ReplyDelete

I love to get feedback and comments, and getting to know other bloggers. I also appreciate corrections if you detect an error, because I'm not an expert, but a self taught enthusiastic amateur on a steep learning curve.

Popular Posts