Letter to Monty 15

Dear Monty,

Good to hear that you are returning to our screens, I cannot imagine what it is like to have someone film my garden, I would be so ashamed.

Did you see Andrew Marr with David Hockney last night ? This man has painted and drawn the same area over and over for the last 8 years in different light, seasons and weather and bold enough to do so because he can see the beauty in the changes...amazing and inspiring.

He spoke of the hand and poetry in painting, and I believe the same applies to gardens. Paintings and gardens are like windows on the soul of the artist/gardener.
Hockney's paintings enhance the experience of living. Living can be hard and painful as well as joyful. At one point in the film he said that ultimately we are all alone, for me this is true because we cannot hold on to loved ones forever...it is a deeply sad statement, because I remember the joy of his then controversial painting 'we two boys together clinging' I just loved that painting when I first saw it in the Tate many years ago.

This soul-search, this gathering of information, this enjoyment of the experience of seeing - even the same view over and over is what I find so wonderful about living with a garden and seeing it change through the seasons. Last night I switched off the light in the kitchen and saw an orange sky, with a wedge of yellow and gold light coming from the house below us, silhouetting the trees. An orange red sky, blue and mauve trees. The mist was diffusing the sodium street lights from the town below us in the valley. The scene was Turneresque beautiful even though artificial.

So are we alone in the universe ? No I don't think so, I believe our hunger for these experiences of life of music, poetry, gardening, painting are a way of trying to capture something of eternity, of our place in this living universe. We have something of eternity in our dna.

I look forward to seeing you again soon



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