The real reason for making a garden

Dear Monty,

I received my copy of 'Down to Earth' this week - it has a very blue cover which matches my laptop.

I have to admit to being a little disappointed by it - especially after listening to your introductory talk to bloggers on a rooftop in London.

I perhaps expected more of the philosophical reasons for making a garden than a book on how and when and what to do according to the seasons. Nevertheless I do need to be reminded of the practicalities - and when you do bring insights into the why of garden making, it made me smile - a kind of spiritual recognition.

I believe we grow into a garden over time - we get a feel for it and start to carve it and build it according to an inward response to the place. I often wonder what I would make of a new space. It must be a real challenge for designers to come up with a design that they will not be able to tweak over the years.

I love the incidental - how light makes such a huge difference - today for instance - an overcast dully lit, flat kind of day suddenly changed as the sun broke through - so I rushed out to try and capture it in my camera (as you suggest) because it helps us to remember what works and what doesn't.

It is also so true that we make gardens for ourselves - I believe they are a very personal form of expression - a bit like a painting or a sculpture, and a real positive in this tired and weary world when they incidentally bring pleasure to others.



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