The Old Testament describes Gardeners as
“… those that dwelt among plants and hedges”.
Men who were content to do the servile work
of planting and hedging …
The phrase is not a complimentary one but is, rather,
a rebuke at those who had been content to serve a pagan king,
rather than join their people in returning home to a theocracy.
Being the type of person who is (I earnestly believe)
all-but extinct in the 21st century,
I confess to finding – not merely contentment, but – relief
doing work in people’s gardens,
rather than aspiring to the vanity, greed,
viciousness and ambition
that visibly-and-audibly characterises modern society.
For anyone happening upon these words
and who might perhaps understand the sentiment,
it may be that you will appreciate joining me
for a walk around the garden as it was
on the 15th of April …
The first rays of sunlight add colour and warmth to the blue cast of early morning,
faintly lighting a tulip which is still in the shadow of pre-dawn …
Several of our baby nishikigoi – hearing me out and about,
demand to know when breakfast will be served.
With the lads having been fed, time now to look at the garden beds …
Having brought with us, to this place, some 78 hostas
along with other perennials from our former nursery,
it will be practical to feature only a few –
I hope that those I have selected to show you here
will give a pleasing enough sense of the garden today …
As the heavy, thick leaves of gigantic hosta
‘Sum and Substance’ make an appearance …
… the soft and delicate fronds of Matteuccia struthiopteris
prepare to unfurl in the warming temperatures …
The yellow blooms of Forsythia
having made their appearance for the year,
the plant is cut back to encourage new growth,
… which comes from the younger branches …
Though the process seems somehow, “Wrong”,
the plant is happier for it.
Hosta Halcyon joins its neighbours in adding colour
to the monotone earth tones of the soil …
Having served admirably to protect the plant
during the cold rains of winter,
old fronds (such as on this Hart’s Fern)
are cut back to make way for the new growth
which is ready to present itself
for a new year in the garden …
Each and every plant in the garden
deserves to be given careful and individual attention …
I began this Internet site in March of 2012,
in the hopes that it might be the means whereby
I could meet – and share thoughts,
commiserations, and ‘links’ with other,
tender-hearted, quiet, and contemplative
men and women.
That notion having failed beyond my wildest imagination,
I have often wondered if I am the only man alive on earth,
who can be moved with compassion
at the plight of a plant.
Until, that is, I saw a BBC interview
with an Arabic gardener who was not afraid to say
that the thought of a plant suffering in the garden,
filled him with distress.
Now, I know that there are two of us
left in the world.
Digging through a mound of perfectly good soil
(presumably left by previous owners
who seemingly removed some garden ‘feature’
from the ground, and piled soil on this spot)
I came across a little glint of white.
Using my hands to pull away the soil,
I came across the pathetic sight of a hosta
– completely inverted – some 2 feet
below the surface –
struggling desperately (it would have failed)
to reach the surface to live.
As the root ball was upside down,
the shoots were arcing – trying to grow
in the direction of the now-upward roots.
A tragic sight which filled me with
immense compassion for the valiant
With the rescued plant in hand,
and friable, manure-rich soil ready to receive it,
the problem was – how does one plant it?
to cover the roots properly,
would be to cover the shoots as well.
The solution seemed to be … to build a smaller
mound within the new planting hole;
place the root-ball, and cover as many roots as possible
– whilst still leaving the shoots exposed to light and air.
Just 24 Hours later, the shoots had moved
sufficiently horizontally to allow the roots
to be fully covered –
(for me, if no one else) happily,
the little fellow is responding well …
People gawp with awe
at the latest piece of mind-stupifying
‘technology’ to hit the mass market
of the modern human race –
while something that is truly miraculous
and worthy of admiration,
is either “boring” or of no interest whatsoever.
A Photograph taken in pre-dawn light
reveals that, in the darkness and pouring rain,
the shoots continue to arc skyward.
Immense satisfaction – in an Age where
human beings respond with silence, apathy,
and ingratitude –
to see them eclipsed, surpassed,
by the response AND obvious appreciation
that is shown … by a ‘mere’ plant.
Contrastingly coloured with green from shoots regularly exposed to daylight,
Hosta Undulata albomarginata
Taking a rest today, the Bog Garden
awaits the addition of more soil and manure
to hide the pond liner beneath the plants
and increase the depth of the soil for lush growth;
but that, all being well, will wait until tomorrow …
Since starting this morning, the nishikigoi —
– [an aside: to avoid, perhaps, confusion, should this
series in the garden continue throughout the year;
the name is nishikigoi – quite erroneously referred to
in the North America World, as “koi” (‘goi’ meaning, “carp”).
Having never seen Any need whatsoever to either
imitate ‘America’ or ‘follow a multitude’ in any thing,
I use the name ‘nishikigoi’ – “coloured (like jewels) carp” ] –
— are slapping the water, calling for a bit of attention.
Time to set the camera down and enjoy a little community spirit
with my friends … and hope that one or two folk
will have enjoyed this walk through the garden.
PL, 16th April, ’18