Pests, prophecy and communion.
30/5/12 Almost the end of the month of May - a beautiful and eventful month. A prophet has no real home, but a garden comes near to it somehow. I visited The Veddw yesterday. I was struck by the warmth of Charles and Anne. They are an intriguing couple and the garden is an expression of them, it is in a kind of tension between wilderness and formality - it has wild woodland which opens out on to the sculpted hollow within which the house sits. For some reason - I am not sure why - it reminds me of Portmeirion - echos of it perhaps in the sculptural elements like the buzzards and the dove.
Somewhere I have seen a photograph of Rowan Williams...you know the hairy Archbishop of Canterbury - with an audience seated below the borders. So it has this theatrical feel, a performance space.
It is definitely a photographers garden (my snaps don't do it justice) There are so many vistas with the light bouncing off horizontal, vertical and wavy cake-like clipped hedges. It is deliberately feasting the eye with structure, almost a carved out feeling, carved out of the hillside like the cottage ruins in the grounds now incorporated into the garden, part of the history of the place. Monty you would love it. Alan Titchmarsh may want to fiddle with it, but I am not sure Anne would let him.
Back in my little garden today I am looking with renewed vision, that means so much to me.
Charles showed me the Monty way of getting rid of Lily beetles without pesticides. We all find our own ways. Having thought about the issue, it seems to me that it depends on whether you are an anxious gardener - a perfectionist.
Here is the truth, we will never achieve perfection, as hard as it may be to swallow. I have found that letting plants be eaten, although disheartening is just a fact of life in the real world and in real living gardens. Real living has its highs and lows, a garden is no different - but with patience, time and a shift in attitude and planting techniques- the wildlife and the planting develops, the balance becomes such that the robust plants survive (including so-called weeds) and birds, hedgehogs, frogs, toads and insects and plants deal with each other. It is about living with 'failure'. It is about looking at gardens with new eyes. The Veddw has helped me in this respect.