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Kent Alpine Gardener's Diary

This entry: 22 June 2016 by Tim Ingram

'Of Gardens'.

'Of Gardens'

 

Helen Milman, in her introduction to Bacon's essay, says: "...he possetheth not (I say in all gentleness), a garden soul". He speaks of a 'grand' garden and philosophically, not a more personal one and practically, but still of the 'Pleasure of a Garden'. So is a garden just sentimental or is it more than that? I think in our present times it is the words that Elizabeth Lawrence used, that I mentioned in my earlier Diary entry, that really ring true. But Bacon's essays are beautifully and cleverly written.

This is the beginning of Helen Milman's introduction, where she says of Bacon: "...had he been more of a true gardener and less of a literary genius, he could have gathered together a sweeter story of the year."

I view gardens as considerably more than just sentimental and would like to use this entry as an introduction to several gardens of friends within our Kent Groups of the AGS, just as I have looked at several of the AGS Shows. To start with though I will look at just one plant in its setting in our garden, Cornus controversa 'Variegata', as it changes through the seasons. A garden is a practical place that involves continuous craft and renewal, but it revolves around an aesthetic, and this tree - because of its poise and beauty - stands for this.

Winter

Spring

Summer

Autumn

What makes our gardens though is our remarkable, maritime, and fickle climate that we discuss all the time, and often despair of, and yet in truth gives the incredible opportunities to grow such a diverse range of plants across the British Isles and results in such unique and varied gardens suited to their place. This was the rather curious and wonderful late evening light with threatening clouds tonight...

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