Musings on show gardens

The garden really started coming together today. We finished setting out the plants and started the actual planting.

blog4Show garden planting is so different from real gardens. All the plants are chosen to be perfect just now and every plant must be completely perfect. No torn leaves or brown bits. No mud on the leaves, no fading blooms, everything in bud or bursting into flower.

To please the judges you have to get the spacing right, no bare soil but not too crowded. Each plant should stand in its own space and not interfere with its neighbour but the effect should be full not gappy. It’s a real black art. And all just for 4 or 5 days. Two weeks ago there was nothing here and in two weeks time it will all be gone again. Is this a lesson in living in the moment? If so it’s somewhat bizarre!

We turned on the water feature and sat in the garden for a while. By giving my attention to the sound of the water trickling into the pond I found that, just as intended, the building noise from other gardens – some of it quite loud – just faded away. Ripples spread out in circles across the pond and, with the concentric circles of the paving, emphasise the circular design. My attention kept coming back to the centre of this circle where it was held by the movement of the water. I felt really very pleased that our design is working as planned all those months ago.

There was a happy spirit of camaraderie amongst the volunteers, some of whom had travelled a long way to spend the day helping to make the garden. This garden is helping to forge links between Quiet Garden people. It’s a project that belongs to many people and is giving a lot of satisfaction to all of us who are part of it. It feels to me that the garden is becoming a personality in its own right and lovely things are happening because of it.

More pictures tomorrow I hope.

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