Letter to Monty...no longer counting

Dear Monty,

What is important ?

I am often amazed by my own foolishness, but then along comes someone who puts life into perspective.
I read this quote from the author Rose Tremain on Saturday whilst at gardenofwales.org.uk sitting at my stand of fresco paintings :

'The older you get the more you understand that the really important things in life are very few.'

I too have noticed this, age seems to filter out the unimportant and sharpen our perception of the important. The dilemma for me though is whether this means I am becoming a conformist.

I love those who rebel against conformity, but even non-conformists eventually settle into their own pattern of conformity. When the breakaway first happens, the result is vibrant and fresh, just like 'new' planting styles, but soon after comes conformity to this new trend. I loathe conformity, but to survive in this world it seems we have to conform. As I have rattled on about before - work life has become all about targets, budgets and conforming to set protocols. No room for common sense, community and communion.

Charles Hawes and Anne Wareham of veddw.com have been asking some interesting questions on this blog and on thinkingardens.co.uk and twitter.co.uk. Even you joined in Monty. Is there a new movement away from conformity and 'horticultural plod' towards 'enlightenment'?  I even noticed at the Orchid Festival, that there is an increasing interest in species orchids found on our own shores. It also seems that we are slowly shifting away from the post war 'spray and kill' ethos which is allowing the return of many wild flowers.
I was unable to attend any lectures, but had interesting conversations with many people who came to look at my fresco paintings of butterflies and bees. One of whom was from first-nature.com Pat O'Reilly who gave me much encouragement.

Somewhere in the movement from conformity to non-conformity is a place of tension and excitement, it tastes like freedom, and long may it continue.


Paul           (you may have noticed I have discovered links)


  1. Non conformity can be very painful, putting you apart from many people. But equally squashing who you are and what you need can be painful too.

    The important bit is in making a garden isn't following a trend, for me, but discovering what something I have never seen before will look like - and hoping it will look exciting too.

    Isn't that what you are doing as well?

    So pleased to hear your work is selling - but not surprised. Well done. XXXXX

    1. Thank you for your comment Anne. Yes I love to try new things to break out of my own boundaries. I should have qualified the statement that I loathe conformity, I suppose what I really loathe is when we are expected to conform without question. Thank you again. p.s. Dear Mr Taxman, although I have sold some paintings, I do not take enough for you to change my tax code yet !


Post a Comment

Popular Posts