11 January 2012
The Big Picture
Just the other day, I overheard someone say again: "Don't miss the forest for the trees." I have always been predominantly a big-picture person; a lot of times something small is staring up at me right under my nose and I still cannot see it. But strangely, gardening can get me so absorbed and immersed in anything particular, urgent, and detailed. Consequently, a lot of times when I see the gardens, I see problems and gaps and bullet points to write down on my clipboard. It takes quite some effort for me to literally step back enough to appreciate what the gardens have become. This must be destiny's way of balancing my life.
We built the gardens little by little, as organic as possible. It sweeps me off my feet when people find it hard to believe that we've only been around a little over three years and that it was an abandoned, overgrown farm when we started. We let the land and trees tell us what to do. But now, midstream, I periodically forget about this basic tenet especially when I'm too absorbed understanding a bromeliad's habit or why a fern grows one direction and not the way I want it to.
There is no set formula for any garden, as there are just so many variables to consider for one to be, well, almost perfect. There are templates, I agree; but you'll end up like a templated garden which is worse than not having a garden at all. I guess part of the success and more importantly, the fulfillment in garden design is discovering what the land tells you how to go about it and discover the beauty in the natural.