Does this need to say anything?





Or this?


Or even this?


I don’t think so. They just ARE!

Lovely images taken of plants in today’s wintery sunshine.

And I can tell you categorically that when any of these was planted no one was trying to say anything. None of these is a commentary on ‘rural poverty in north-east somerset’ or ‘the fate of the Iceni at the hands of the Romans.’ And yet for me they more than have validity or resonance, they sing.

What do they sing? Oh no, lets not even go there!

There seems to be a growing band of clamorous people for whom gardens must at all costs have a message.  To be successful, artistic even, a garden has to be the result of some deep and prolonged struggle with your muse. They like a concept garden. Say, with a tombstone set in a sea of lettuce, which is itself a commentary on my buying out of season produce at my local tesco express!

Little Sparta with its pretentious epigrams carved in stone, and The Garden of Cosmic Speculation, which is laden like a freighter with cosmological symbols, are held up to us as examples that we should aspire to.

I don’t mind message and see its place, if that is what you choose. Its the ‘should aspire to’ that I have a problem with. For these people seem so very determined that the rest of us HAVE to follow their arcane abstractions. You can say to one of them aimiably ‘well, each to his own, then’ and that is not good enough either. I have literally been told that! They seem quite determined alternately to bludgeon and bore us half to death.

I would not mind except that it doesn’t seem to make them very happy people. Why would they not be happy? Because they have not discovered what plants and being amongst them can do for you! In fact some of them actually despise plants, hate gardening and will tell you that you can have a garden with no plants.  We WILL visit that one day, I promise.

And in the meantime I suggest that if they hate plants and despise gardeners these quasi aesthetes should return to the drawing rooms from whence they came! But while they loll on their sofas and think their supposedly high thoughts they might reach out a languid hand for the works of Andrew Marvell!