Imagining a garden

Yesterday I sat at dusk looking out from the top of our garden across the valley, the light fell slowly into darkness. First a dulling of all colour followed by the stronger lack of light.

Looking out, taking the changing scene in, I relaxed and for the first time in our garden, I felt a small understanding of what this space might want to be. How this small patch of hillside relates to the wider landscape beyond and I felt positive about it, that we can do something good here.

Within weeks of moving to our new garden, I knew this would become a multi year project, of growing new plants and seeing what colours, shapes and textures felt right. At first it was hard to know because the views beyond are so overpowering, it’s hard to do anything to match them.

I’ve introduced about fifty or sixty new plants here, not that you can see them in photos yet. Not all of them will stay as some are comparisons of different types of the same plant. Eventually I will remove those that aren’t right and divide and multiply those that are.

In the first year I deliberated over the path and, although I want to play around the shape and edges a bit more, the central path’s curves over the land feel right. The path isn’t flat but gently rounded in different places.

I didn’t think I’d want to keep the grass path because I don’t generally like them next to plantings, it’s odd having a mown strip next to untamed plants, instead eventually thinking I’d switch it to gravel or natural stone. But something about it is telling me the grass is right.

Grass, after all, is the most sustainable and wildlife friendly usable surface humans have learnt to make. It’s not just me who walks this path already, but thousands of insects and birds.

I like paths and I think I will concentrate on taking the path I have started and extending it down the hillside as far as I can take it.

I walked up and down it yesterday multiple times, imagining the planting I have in mind all around me in the future and I could hear the garden and land telling me this was right. It was a happy experience to walk the path. Such a simple thing, a path and planting, but it’s the start of an adventure, the beginning of an exciting and happy journey.

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