Kent Alpine Gardener's Diary
This entry: 24 December 2016 by Tim Ingram
Looking to 2017...
Looking forward to 2017...
Good wishes for Christmas and the New Year...
Ever since last summer exploring the Western Highlands of Scotland with my daughters and another friend I've wanted to write more that captures something of why the mountains and landscapes hold you so much in their thrall. It is more than the plants that grow there, but the plants are the greatest excuse to go. Since I haven't really the words to express this properly I would like to wish readers well for 2017, with the words of Robert Burns and a picture taken on the way down from the highest peak in the UK, Ben Nevis, looking across towards the Isle of Skye in the distance - a place I would very much like to return to and explore in more detail, and write about in the New Year...
Admiring Nature in her wildest grace,
These northern scenes with weary feet I trace;
O'er many a winding dale and painful steep,
Th' abodes of covey'd grouse and timid sheep,
My savage journey, curious, I pursue,
Till fam'd Breadalbane opens to my view. -
The meeting cliffs each deep-sunk glen divides,
The woods wild scatter'd, clothe their ample sides;
Th' outstretching lake, imbosomed 'mong the hills,
The eye with wonder and amazement fills;
The Tay meand'ring sweet in infant pride,
The palace rising on his verdant side,
The lawns wood-fring'd in Nature's native taste,
The hillocks dropt in Nature's careless haste,
The arches striding o'er the new-born stream,
The village glittering in the noontide beam-
Poetic ardours in my bosom swell,
Lone wand'ring by the hermit's mossy cell;
The sweeping theatre of hanging woods,
Th' incessant roar of headlong tumbling floods-
Here Poesy might wake her heav'n-taught lyre,
And look through Nature with creative fire;
Here, to the wrongs of Fate half reconcil'd,
Misfortunes lighten'd steps might wander wild;
And Disappointment, in these lonely bounds,
Find balm to soothe her bitter, rankling wounds:
Here heart-struck Grief might heav'nward stretch her
And injur'd Worth forget and pardon man.
(Verses Written With A Pencil Over the Chimney-piece in the Parlour of the Inn at Kenmore, Taymouth)