Free thoughts part 1 - Embarrassment.

Dear Monty,

I am acutely aware that this can be an embarrassing blog to read, mainly down to my naivety, and the understanding that any discussion about spiritual matters or matters relating to the soul can be nauseating to some. But I was heartened by the debate at the thinkingardens supper, and by Tristan Gregory's article and the responses to it, especially that by Charles Hawes, which you can read here :
Charles mentions the soul of a garden, and questions whether we can recognise such a thing in a garden.

It is a strange turnaround that discussing sex is no longer taboo but it seems that spirituality in particular seems to be relegated to the top shelf and is hidden in a brown paper bag.

Being spiritual and an artist and someone who is making a garden perhaps is even more ridiculous and perverted.

I want to be clear that being spiritual is not about being some kind of higher mortal who looks down on everyone else, neither is it about being artificially 'good'. It is about finding out the truth of who we are, and keeping hold of it through the commercial and sanitised world noise.

I believe that gardening and making gardens links us with the spiritual and the timeless despite being bounded by time.

Can a garden be art ? Yes - if the temporary nature of gardens as a form of expression excludes it, then so should it also exclude other art forms such as performance art or installations. I believe that work by land artists such as Andy Goldsworthy is testament to the temporary becoming an art form, especially the use of photography and writing to capture and explain the moment. Gardens like the temporary work of Goldsworthy reflect their own and our own sense of flux by accentuating change, season by season, and through additions and removals, through forms and the exposing and hiding of landscape/townscape beyond.

I have also been inspired by James Golden and Lucy Masters who have both written about the seasons and how important Winter is as a season of rest, we all need rest.

Anne Wareham has created a thinking space for us where we can think of gardens as a form of conceptual art, art about the growth of an idea, and our relationship with our space and the spaces beyond. Its development is all creativity and therefore art.



  1. Do you want to make love in your garden Paul? That's the sign of a good garden - for me anyway. It's simple.

    1. Julia It's not something I've even thought of, that is probably a sad confession. Not sure what Doug the milk who lives next door would think either, seeing that he is able to see in from his house ! More hedges perhaps.Seriously though, that is a beautiful test of a good garden, so in my case there is more work to be done !

  2. you have the structure and maybe Doug the milk might learn a thing or 2

  3. Thank you, Paul. Thank you. Xxxx

    1. Anne, I would never have begun to think about gardens in the way I do now if I had not read your book and the website. I think what you are doing is exciting and makes living a bit more like living!


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