The holly and the Ivy , or is it Ilex aquifolium and hedera helix ?

Dear Monty,




I have a lot of Ivy in my garden, it trails the ground in the borders and scrambles up the nearest available upright, which is its wont.

I have just read an article shared by The James Golden on garden movement. Movement not in terms of the wind making itself visible - but in the way a garden changes and plants move through the soil and begin to colonize.

A garden only exists in the mind of its creator in the sense that it is the mind that takes the information relayed through the eyes and edits what it sees. Perhaps I see an imbalance or an over dominance of a plant or shrub or tree which needs cutting back to maintain a state of harmony. What I have learnt from the likes of James, Anne Wareham and Noel Kingsbury is that this being in tune with change is part of the excitement of garden making. Allowing dominance can sometimes be risky, but it is good to see what the plants themselves want to do.

The sad downside to the fact that gardens exist in the minds of their creator is that once the mind dies, in a sense so does the garden. Of course if you have another generation of garden makers following on behind who see the concept and understand the philosophy then the garden may continue to reflect the person for a while longer, but inevitably eventually it will change and fade.

Gardens therefore are an intimate expression on an individual - a mind portrait. If you are wealthy and you have a large garden you can pass it on to the nation - but my back garden will go when I go. Does this make me sad ? Not a bit - I intend to enjoy its pleasures and pains for as long as I am here and watch that ivy giving it room but also cutting it back here and there, and I will watch the standard holly fill out in its tub until I decide where it should live.

I'm beginning to doubt my garden making skills though - as a debate on www.ThinkinGardens.co.uk highlights the necessity of knowledge of plants and their Latin nomenclature. It seems to cause division, even an elitism which to me is a road to nowhere. There is too much of it in the world already. Let's encourage one another and forgive a perceived lack of knowledge. Nature knows - is that not enough ? Perhaps not, but I aim to keep on making my garden even if I forget the names of the plants.






Paul

Comments

  1. I think you're being playful. Good.

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    1. Yes! I have to admit I am tired of barriers James - I believe if an individual gets joy and reward from making a garden no matter what their knowledge level - that is a life affirming thing. I respect knowledge but I believe love to be more important. I see the community of garden makers who share on social media as a great social media party - a celebration ! I feel so privileged to have met and debated with garden makers who have a passion for what they do - passion matters.

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  2. Nature will cover the garden even if you do nothing and don't know the names of any of her plant ideas! I have had a garden for over 40 years and still am no more knowledgeable when it comes to proper names but as long as I enjoy what I am doing and as long as Nature helps me in my attempts I feel that I know as much as I need to know. Your garden looks great to me even if you don't know the names of some of the plants!

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