Or is it really Art?

I ask this because we have a son who is a wonderful artist and although he has absolutely no interest whatsoever in having his own garden he is able to appreciate the beauty of someone else’s. I have often thought that gardening is a form of art and particularly so when presented with a blank canvas. I often look at the “good” designs at Chelsea or Hampton Court and ask myself “What’s this got to do with gardening?!” I despair at some of the self indulgent fantasies created by the likes of Diarmuid Gavin which remind me so much of the The Emperor’s New Clothes story. I like ‘proper’ gardens!

When I am working in the garden it is more or less with one aim, to gain self-satisfation. If others like it then that’s good too but not essential. I understand most artists feel the same. Thankfully, I don’t have to make my living from gardening otherwise I fear I would be very poor indeed!

I find the garden is often like an unruly child which requires a firm hand to keep it under control but once tamed and behaving itself is a joy and a triumph. When it looks good I wish I could freeze time and stick it up on the wall like a painting (the garden – not the child!) but, of course, the next day it all looks different. Just like art, gardening is all about light and shade, perspective, colour and mood with the added benefit that it is always in 3D and has scent too. But when I am tired and dirty at the end of a hard day in the garden it is often just about those last few minutes standing back and appreciating the difference I have made, the beauty and form of the plants and flowers and making a mental note of things I missed and jobs for the next day.

Thalictrum rochebrunianum – One of my favourite plants, grown from seed last year and  stunningly beautiful with a froth of lilac flowers with bright yellow stamens in May and June. Definitely one of the best forms of Meadow Rue

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