Thinking gardens - with apologies to Anne Wareham

Dear Monty,

You are a garden thinker if ever there was one, this is evident in your writing and in your talks about your writing and your garden.

I suppose all this blog writing I do is a kind of thinking out loud, and a way to say I exist outside of my career as a nurse and an attempt to find out if making art and a garden makes a difference for good in this sometimes tortured human world.

I love looking at other peoples gardens both in the vegetative flesh and in digital pictures on line.

I write specifically to you because much to the chagrin of others in the category of those who think about and meditate on the concept of gardens - you are the fist 'virtual' person who most inspired me to have a go before I met up with others who have made and are making insightful gardens. These people I can actually have conversations with face to face. There is ego involved - I seem to need approval and I know this is almost anti-creative in spirit. I often just wonder what others would make of this space - would they find in it what I find ?- Perhaps not.

The joy comes when all this ego stuff is left behind and the garden becomes its own place. I am noticing that nature does a lot of the gardening for me.

I have just spent an annual long weekend with my son who is 23 tomorrow. We take ourselves off to St David's in Pembrokeshire - where we camp, walk the coast and the hills around St David's Head and eat and drink ale in The Bishops It's a precious time. This year I realised that nature has created amazing gardens on the thin strip of land that is the coastal path - with the soaring of buzzard, chough and fulmar and iridescent beetles and butterflies at every turn and dip of the coast.

That experience was restorative - its expression came to my deep inner spirit in the form of words written a very very long time ago -' He restores my soul'. How do I know that God is behind it ? - He restores us by connecting us with what we belong to which is not connected to ego or greed - it is simply life living out life - nature itself is a call to the restoration of humankind - and I suspect many of us hear it but may not understand what it is.

I have decided to make a series of 7 small frescoes based on St David's head - a collection of gardens and jewels and an expression of joy. (I HOPE!) They will be exhibited at the National Botanic Garden of Wales in the Orchid Festival tent at the end of summer.

Yours, still hoping you will come and have a cup of tea or coffee. By the way anyone is welcome to come and have a cuppa - as long as you let me know !



  1. You're forgiven. Love the project! Xxx

  2. Well there must be some caravan sites along the path around St David's so you know you'll be accused of misrepresentation! Nice mix of foliage textures in pic 4 too. I hope the mask is for dust protection and not to prevent recognition if ever you and your correspondent actually meet. And happy birthday to son too.

    1. There are indeed caravan sites, small ones which I do not find intrusive but then I grew up spending every available weekend and summer hols in my mum and dad's caravan in Carmarthenshire an experience which gave me a deep and abiding appreciation of the natural world which I may otherwise have never there Charles Hawes ! (If he reads this). Well it's highly unlikely the man himself would ever visit - and it's a bit pathetic of me really to keep writing to him but he is my foil and without him I'd have nothing to hang this blog on. I'll pass on your birthday wishes - he now has a permanent job after looking for one for the last four years - the best news for a while !


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