Friday, May 30, 2008

Creating gardens

I'm fascinated about how people create gardens that please them. We have different tastes in colors, color combinations, whether our gardens attract wildlife, focus on natives, or some other passion. I'm firmly in the 'creating gardens that mimic nature' side of things, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the exotic and unusual in other people's gardens, even if I think, I'd never plant that!

I'm also interested in how gardens change. I listened to a lecture program coming over to England, I think from the RHS, that I had downloaded (to my iPod), with Sir Roy Strong and Fergus Garrett talking about whether you can preserve a garden that has a personal imprint of the gardener. Roy Strong clearly was of the opinion that change (often radical) was good, reflecting on how he'd changed his house and garden after losing his wife, who had created the garden with him. But I had the sense that he and his wife had been of differing tastes, when it came to both their house and garden, and he was taking the opportunity now to create the (house) and garden that he was most pleased with.

Fergus Garrett, on the other hand, entrusted by Christopher Lloyd (he's been the Head Gardener for some years) to preserve Great Dixter for the future, would like the garden to continue to reflect the experimentation and approach that Lloyd espoused. And, since he worked so closely with Christopher Lloyd, and there are detailed succession planting plans, I'd imagine that the garden will continue to be fascinating.

After all, a National Trust Garden such as Sissinghurst has evolved in terms of the plants that are used, and is still a very vibrant garden.

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