I just got back from a week’s holiday at Cape Leveque, about 250 kms north of Broome on the west coast of Australia. It had all the ingredients I needed for a perfect break: nature, remoteness and time without plans or commitments.

I have been pondering on the relationship between “wild” vegetation and “purposeful” gardening. The process of gardening fulfils and sharpens my aesthetic senses and makes me feel good. Being away from cities and farms has the same effect.

While away I got ideas, inspiration and pleasure from

- Fauna: kangaroos, birds, sea creatures, insects, crocodiles

- Flora: trees, shrubs, grasses, flowers

- Colours: sand, sea, sky

- Sounds: sea, birdcalls, wind

- Texture: bark, rocks


  1. Lovely pictures, glad you had a good time.

    Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair... ~Susan Polis Shutz

    You've raised an important question. Is gardening a taming of nature or bringing wildness within our reach and touch.

  2. Dear Hermes, could it be both?

  3. Good point. Probably depends on the gardener. I'm fascinated by the number of different styles and approaches gardeners have. Some technical, some artistic, others respond to the beauty of it all and a need to be a part of the all.

  4. The holiday looks perfect, as are the pictures.
    I think that as soon as we garden we interfere with nature. What is fascinating is how far we are willing to go :-)

  5. I love your photos, Catmint. They look as though you're composing a color scheme for your entire house! ;-) You must have had a wonderful vacation.

  6. I was thinking about the variety of gardening styles (as mentioned by Hermes). To garden is to manipulate nature. It's impossible to build a house and live in an entirely natural landscape but a gardener can attempt to minimise impact. At the other extreme some gardens seek to exclude nature altogether. In between are a vast array of gardens illustrating the gardener's desire to recreate some dream they have in their head.
    The results are fascinating. Whatever the dream it always involves a battle to control nature, in a battleground that can be spartan or lush. I suppose that is one definition of garden design (lol).
    I will be visiting the Chelsea Flower Show in May where there are lots of show gardens. As always I will be amazed - love them or hate them they will be stimulating. I love it.

  7. Wonderful a mini travelouge...feel I've been there too!

  8. Thanks for your comments, Easygardener. I agree that gardening is always a battle to control nature. A natural looking garden is a pretence.
    I'm wondering whether there is really such a thing as wild nature untouched by people. Maybe remote places like the Amazon jungle or north west Australia are wild because indigenous people still to an extent lead traditional lives and tread lightly. But they are finding it harder and harder to do this. So maybe 'wild nature' is an ideal. In reality it is being appropriated by humans and tamed? I think this is how I understand Hermes' quote. Is this coherent? Does this mean the world's a garden?

  9. Looks dreamy...let's trade houses for a spell! hehe


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