Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Gathering the socks - the season of mists and damp washing

Dear Monty,



I am re- reading 'What Are Gardens For ?' By Rory Stuart. I have searched the pages and the index but cannot find - for drying socks.

This could be a grave omission on Rory's part or perhaps drying socks or pants or sundry items of clothing and bedding is not meant to be part of garden making and design.




I am now having a crisis - what if having a washing line in your garden does not fulfil the ambition of having a garden of merit ? I may have to face up to the truth that the coal-tip cloister garden is just a semi- rural post industrial back yard. But maybe sock drying is an essential element of a living space in which humans, plants and socks co-exist in domestic harmony. I am reminded of the gallery at Hauser & Worth and photographs of the installation of pants on lines taken by Anne Wareham of  veddw.com.

Whichever it may be : socks, underpants, knickers - they all have to be accommodated in our outdoor spaces unless we have drying rooms or prefer to use electricity. (Sue says that clothes always smell better dried in the air - but I cannot tell the difference !)






Should we see our socks and knickers on a line in a garden and not feel ashamed ? Can a garden have merit if it demonstrates the mundane aspects of human life ?

Paul

7 comments:

  1. we've got a Washing Pergola with socks

    and a pergola when the dry washing goes in.

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    1. Sounds like a perfect solution .... Do you prefer it with socks or without ? After many years of groaning when the washing has to go out, I now find I like the colour and pattern that it makes. It also comforts me because it celebrates humble domesticity. I think washing can look like prayer flags and that makes me smile.

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  2. Brilliant. There must be another 1001 mundane Uses of a Garden?

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    1. Yes perhaps we should embrace them.Methinks this is another book ! - Charles could illustrate with photographs - he likes washing lines x

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  3. I recall that John Brooke's guidlines on designing a garden always began with accommodating the essentials, the obvious practicalities we all need. As for the list of essentials, could I suggest - the shed, glasshouse, garage, clothes line, hen run, compost bins, a place to stand potted plants and I'm sure others could add to this list.

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    1. Yes all these items are usually discreetly hidden in the garden - they are usually screened off - a bit like our washing line hidden from line of sight by a beech hedge. I suppose the challenge is to make them look good in the garden. I have an old copy of one of John Brooke's books on designing small spaces which has had a direct influence on how I have developed this small garden.

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