who owns the garden?

One of the quirky short stories in Alasdair Gray’s "The Ends of Our Tethers: 13 Sorry Stories" is called Property.

It tells the story of two young people who went camping in the Scottish Highlands. They found an appealing spot on a grassy verge near the road, set up their tents and then walked into the nearby town to spend the evening in the hotel bar. When they got back their possessions had gone. They spent a miserable cold night.

In the morning they were waken by a well-dressed man and a policeman. The man said that they were camped upon his land without permission. The elder boy said he didn’t know that the roadside was private land and their possessions had been stolen.

‘Not stolen. Impounded’, said the man. ‘I had them removed last night to the police station… so now collect your chattels from the station and clear out …'

The man turned a little and looked steadily toward the loch, mountains, glens, rivers, moors and islands that he regarded (with the support of the police) as his back garden.


  1. Hi Catmint~~ I can see both points of view. If the man owns the land why should he accept trespassers? Yet, why not share the land he's been blessed with? If the guests don't trash the place why can't they enjoy its beauty? Maybe I'm too serious. :)

    I heard you all have had some chilly nights. I hope that is over with. :)

  2. I feel like the land belongs to the future and I agree with Grace...if you respect it, why can't it be availble for all to enjoy.

  3. I think the respect is the key; some people are good at that, but others have no idea, which tends to wreck the trustfulness of the land owner, plus the land (wildfires start here when people are disrespectful, so it's a huge issue). I can see both points, too. "Land belongs to the owner; the landscape belongs to the viewer" is a quote from one blog I really liked.

    catmint: my email address for you crashed, so I left you a secret message at Blotanical.

  4. I love garden I love everything about the nature about the arts that nature friendly.....Thanks for your meaningful words at my blog my lovely friend. I really appreciate that...Please do come again...You are so special...

  5. Hi Grace, Conscious, Pomona and D'Rimba, The problem as I see it is one of unequal power. If the poor respect authority and the rich then the society will be stable, but not necessarily fair.


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