Tuesday, 22 May 2007

A Gentle Plea for Chaos



The rain has stopped and I can garden again. It's good to take a break from all that ragging, after a while it feels that I'm growing extra thumbs on my hands as they get so sore from cutting! There's a lot going on at the moment and I'm really not feeling on top of things and all I've really wanted to do for over a week now is be in the garden. The rain and cold had put a stop to that and I took some comfort in browsing through my old gardening books.



One of them in particular, A Gentle Plea for Chaos, by Mirabel Osler, is an old favourite. So while chaos was taking the upperhand in our house it was nice to bury myself in a book that actively promotes a little "amiable disorder". I really like the thinking behind this book, and agree wholeheartedly that plants should be allowed to scatter as they please, things shouldn't be too regimented here in our gardens or too "neat", that nature should take the lead and above all we should give our plants time.


On Sunday we were able to mow the lawn and spend a bit of time in the garden, I was talking to my husband and saying how much I loved discovering new seedlings appearing randomly around the garden and that we should leave the buttercups and comfrey alone. We were wondering if we were "lazy" in the sense of letting things be rather than weeding furiously and rearranging the flower beds, but we decided that that's the way we liked things, relaxed, sponataneous and surprising. Although this garden belongs to us it is good to know that it can still throw up the odd surprise and I love not being fully in control out here. I'd rather have drifts of buttercups and daisies in my garden than a perfect lawn.

These foxgloves have selfseeded here and I couldn't have chosen a better spot for them. They look great amongst the plants that we have planted. I will leave them to self seed again this year and see what happens ...

These foxgloves in front of the shutters at the end of the garden were planted by us and I think frame the shutters really well. Inside the shuttters in a few weeks time letters will be placed in the grille by my daughters on Midsummer's Night to be read by any passing fairies!

Being in my garden is such a contrast to tearing around the house always with one eye on the clock, time seems to pass more slowly and I seem to be able to really think clearly out here. It is not a very big garden but it is a garden that offers me a great deal of pleasure and comfort.

24 comments:

Naturegirl said...

Love the shutters at the end of your garden! I can see in my mind and clearly hear the giggles of the faeries behind ! Yes a garden is a place of respite!I shall look into getting this book you mention!
Thank you! hugs NG

carolyn said...

"amiable disorder" aptly describes the gardens at Willow House, there really is never enough time but fortunately I don't go a bundle on neat and tidy gardens anyway, unfortunately hubby does and I'm always having to control his pruning urges.

Thimbleanna said...

What a lovely garden! Love the flowers, the shutter and the little statue!

andsewtosleep said...

I totally agree with your gardening philosophy Kim. My only interference in our garden is to 'scatter' a few seed pods from one side of the garden to the other. I love the shutters. Mary

julia said...

What a gorgeous garden! This is the look I'd like to achieve but my green fingers are yet to show themselves.

I live with a man who philosophy is to hack everything back to within an inch of it's life so I have to keep him strictly under control and keep the shears under lock and key!

Julia

weirdbunny said...

I love the shutter at the end of your garden !!!!! How adorable is that !!! I noticed a foxglove today that is soon to open it's flowers in the garden. They really remind me of when I was a child, playing on a moutain next to our home that would be covered in them - love julia x

weirdbunny said...

The trouble with comfrey, is that it sure does spread !

BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

I love those dear shutters! I hope the fairies delight in your daughters letters! I always feel so much more relaxed after spending time out in the garden. Today my little one and I discovered a blackberry plant that seeded itself (well, I'm sure a bird helped) right in my iris patch! I also found two wild rose bushes that seeded themselves in our yard (those are the best kind of roses... the ones that take care of themselves)! =)

Alison said...

Loooovvveee the foxgloves!
Mine have all disappeared...sadly not one has appeared this year...it is so sad I will have to replant for next year and the year after.
Alison x

Heidi said...

I so agree with your gardening ideas. I sometimes think we are lazy when we don't do more about how things develope but you are of a like mind about it so maybe it is not so unnatural. Our foxgloves have come up in very odd places this year but we are leaving them. We want to enjoy the blooms and know next year will be different once again. They always surprise you.

I am intrigued to hear more about your daughter putting notes to the faires in the shutters? But don't they make a real piece of artwork for your garden! It is really a lovely place!

Amanda said...

How absolutely wonderful! I love the "wild" aspect to letting flowers see where they fall!

Vintage to Victorian said...

I love your garden, Kim. It's just like those I've had in the past. I'll be glad to get out into this one and 'enclose' it - it's far too open for my liking with far few hidden corners. Why aren't there more hours in each day?!! Sue x

Vintage to Victorian said...

PS - I meant to say that, despite having accumulated enough gardening books over the years to open a bookshop, I've never come across this one. Sounds perfect! Sue x

Jo said...

I have one little patch of daisies in my lawn and I always go around them with the mower as they look pretty. I'm with you on the amiable disorder!

She'sSewPretty said...

Your garden is gorgeous. I wish I could get the same look here but it is just too darn hot in the summer.

Heather ~ Pretty Petals said...

Beautiful foxgloves! The garden just puts everything into perspective!

Heather

Marie said...

Hi Kim

Your garden is lovely. I think the cottage-garden approach of drifts of flowers looks good.

Hope lots of fairies find their way there on Midsummer's Night.

Marie x

meggie said...

What a lovely post! I LOVE foxgloves, they used to grow wild in the paddocks where I stayed a lot as a child, in New Zealand.
How beautiful your garden is!

Joy said...

That is a really lovely post, your garden is so beautiful - my sort of garden, and I also have a copy of the book 'A gentle plea for chaos'

Lynda said...

I love gardens where everything is allowed to ramble and roam as it pleases. It's fun to discover something coming up that you didn't plant there! I like to think that the birds and fairies sometimes know what goes where better than I do. I'm going to look for the book you mention ... it sounds lovely! ♥

Isobel said...

Hi Kim,
Here we gave a nice clean to our garden last sunday. Well, it's not really a graden. more like a patio, but still we can grow and enjoy gardening as much as if we had a big grass one. :)
Take Care.
x

Karen said...

I share your gardening philosophy. I love it when things self-seed, and that slightly wild, haphazard look is infinitely preferable to something that's perfectly manicured - at least to my eyes.

Carol said...

I'm all up for a bit chaos and against too much weeding. A garden should look natural. Wow your shutters are lovely such a gorgeous soft color! Also I love your white fox gloves, mine are blooming in different shades of pink at the moment. Your garden looks beautiful, please show us more pictures of it! Happy Pentecost weekend! Carol xox

Cowboys & Custard said...

We seem to share the same ethos about gardens and the same passions Kim... I would love to encourage more natural chaos in my garden and am so delighted to see hundreds of little foxglove seedlings as a legacy from last year..
Your garden sounds and looks like a dream... Midsummer dream with fairies... perfect!