about this blog

I started this blog in 2008. It started mainly as a way of tracking the evolution of my dry garden, and that led to an interest in photography and in the creatures that live in the garden. It's still about the garden and wildlife, but now my passion is thinking about how we humans can learn to co-exist with wild animals and plants, especially in urban areas.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

what do you see?

What do you see?
Well, I see a lot of different shades of green.

What do you see?
I see some trees and tall bushes, and of course they hide what is behind them.

What do you see?
I see gaps!

I really did not want people, other than family and friends, to see the garden. I felt it would be an invasion of privacy. And so it was.

But, maybe paradoxically and certainly surprisingly for me, something powerful happened over the weekend. I think of it as an epiphany.

I was standing on the deck looking at the garden, and slowly scanning the space so of course what was focal changed as I moved my focus from one side to the other. What struck me as never before was the enormity of what Catmint has achieved and the extraordinary beauty of the totality.

I guess that for the first time I saw the garden as an enormous canvas that is enormously rich and variegated. So, for the first time I saw the garden as a highly complex art work that is for ever changing, and yet, despite the change, there is a frame. The frame is constituted by the fence and walls that separate the garden from our neighbours and the street. In addition the frame is constituted by the meandering paths that take one through and round the garden. There are parts and sections but they all coalesce to form a stunning creation.

- written by R, the man Catmint shares her life with.


  1. R - if it's any consolation, I felt I was invading your privacy, as I'm sure others must've, wandering into a stranger's garden. It's a very personal space. Things get misinterprted or missed or misunderstood, or trodden on. I'm not sure I'd want all these people I don't know coming into mine. But then, a novelist needs readers, and a garden-maker needs viewers, unless they're utterly self-possessed or impermeable. It's a sharing thing, and everybody who goes into a stranger's garden picks up something that will trigger some sort of response or memory or new view. That can only be beneficial, and is really what creativity is about: communication.

  2. I see a beautiful, far off place. A path that makes me want to follow. Lots of green. I am amazed that you are in the suburbs and that just beyond you are neighbors and streets. Also amazed that you created this - it has an "always been here" thing going on. I see nature. I see art. I see life.

    Maybe the upset visitor thought it had always been there? Maybe he didn't see a garden because it looks so natural?

    As someone who gardens (and not as much as she should) I see a lot of work... Also (and I mean this in the nicest way) your garden looks like a movie set - I'm waiting for the fairies or hobbits or someone to show up. Good job.

  3. This post breathes in pleasure. And the view is relaxed yet composed. Perfect.

  4. A work of art for sure and it is great you see it that way!

  5. R. you must be so proud of Catmint - she has created a really beautiful garden and yes it is a work of art - a living,breathing tapestry of different textures - I just wish I could have been there.

  6. (Mr Crabby just doesn't get it. Let us make him the exception that proves the rule.)

    What do I see? I see Catmint's garden. And I see we speak the same language. But an open garden I couldn't do. I admire both the Garden and the willingness to share!

  7. I love what I saw and just read! Just like R admiring the works of your hands and appreciating the beauty of nature. And I wish to be able to garden like you. Have another great day!


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