Letter to Monty 21


The garden.

Design or not design this is the question. Can I have a pleasing garden without a planned design?
Two contrasts on TV last night. Sir Anthony Caro never has a plan but produces balanced sculptures that look planned, they grow out of an internal sense of placement and composition. Can that be achieved in a garden ? It is how I garden, I am not a designer I am intuitive, I have an artists sensibility. Having said all that the contrast of strong design in the planning stage of a garden as discussed by Joe Swift did highlight to me how strong the elements of terrace, path and pergola (now rotten) are in my garden, all elements which I inherited. All I do is place pots and move and cut and fiddle with edges and borders and plants and trees. I look at the vista from the kitchen window which faces the garden. The current leading strong lines work for my eye.....so is it for my eyes only?

It was good to hear you say that Long Meadow is a real garden with 'good' and 'bad' bits, success and failure - I like that, and I also liked the galvanised bin with its lid at a jaunty angle in the background shot of the newly planted rose wall.


I feel lost sometimes, I just watch as some people drift away from me. My compassion is fatigued. I have no faith in myself...in the sense of solid dependability, because I know my own heart and my own mind. The only solid faith I have is in my ability to fail, and knowing that I have been rescued from it outside of time. I have faith in our potential for good.... I see that so many times both in work and out of work...online and even on Gardeners World.

Thank you Monty,



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