Friday, August 20, 2010

365 Days, Day 74

To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves (Mohandas K. Gandhi)

Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are (Alfred Austin)

The many great gardens of the world, of literature and poetry, of painting and music, of religion and architecture, all make the point as clear as possible: The soul cannot thrive in the absence of a garden. If you don't want paradise, you are not human; and if you are not human, you don't have a soul (Thomas Moore)

I have not had much time to be in my South African garden: but although it looks neat, it does need some attention. Everything is very dry here. I had forgotten how dry and dusty it is in winter in Gauteng. The work I did in January in the garden has grown sad. I need some inspiration for getting the garden to look good for prospective buyers. Any suggestions from my skilled-gardening family and friends?

When my mum (Shirley) was a little girl she and her sister, Pam, would play in the garden while their mum was gardening. They called their mum (my Nan): Mrs. Garden. Shirley was Mrs. Martin (the rich side of the family’s name) and her sister, Pam, called herself Mrs. Pam. Years later, my cousins from Durban (Pam’s children) and I would play in the very same garden, while the adults were visiting. We would play a game that involved making a witches’ brew with leaves and plants gathered from Nan’s garden. I remember Nan’s roses which had a beautiful perfume. I always associate roses with Nan.

Mum’s rose garden is even more beautiful than Nan’s was. Many hours of loving attention have produced gorgeous rose bushes. There are so many interesting things in my mum’s garden and nooks and crannies. When I think back to my childhood, the garden always had fruit trees from which we had peaches, plums, apricots and apples. Now they also have a big vegetable patch – which dad has been involved in too.

I haven’t really inherited the green-fingers, only to a pottering extent. Although AriĆ©l says now that Tom and I are getting older we are starting to like gardening more- so it must be an old person’s past-time! [hmph]

I like garden ‘accessories’ as much as the plants themselves, like my fairies and the amphora I made for an art work which are scattered around the studio. I like it when you round a corner and see little unexpected things in the garden that encourages real fairies and fantasy creature to inhabit the space.

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