There are simple things which add enormously to the enjoyment of life – to see a wild mink run across the road in front of me the other day, to hear and see four buzzards high in the sky above me and then to have two raucous ravens, obviously discussing some matter of contention between them, cut across beneath them. Advancing years allows one the freedom to be enjoyably immature – to enjoy simple things with the eye of a child.
I quoted Christopher Woods, author of ‘Gardenlust’ in a recent blog: “Often, people grow quiet when they enter a garden. In the face of so much beauty, there is often not much to say.” So it is with much we experience in nature and in our gardens. During recent years I have gone on “orchid outings” with a group of friends and there have regularly been moments, even long periods, of silence in the presence of some encountered beauty. Fortunately, all of this circle of friends are of a similar mind, and this never strikes any of us as odd or unusual so we each enjoy the experience in the very best of company.
These last few days I have been back to the garden, moving at a snail’s pace – not because of any impediment to movement but because I stop and stare and enjoy the plants I haven’t been out to see for some time. Those who garden will recognise and understand this step-step-step-stop way of going around a garden, stopping to admire each encountered treasure, each special plant appreciated for its beauty and memories – this one came from so-and-so or that one bought on a special holiday etc etc. A garden is so much more than a collection of plants; it is also a repository of memories. This reminds me of a comment from Helen Dillon some years back, describing the perambulation of a garden in the presence of the owner, and how important it was to realise that when the owner stopped there was a treasure to be seen and that it was important to pay attention and give due deference, ooohs, and aaahs, as appropriate or one risked the ire of one’s host and to spot it and comment on it before the owner had to point it out guaranteed special kudos and a guaranteed invitation to visit again.
Yesterday, I did a little work in the garden and have decided that it would be wise to declare today a day of rest and recuperation – little by little! – but I can enjoy the walk again in my photographs.
Primulas are into flower in the garden:
The first of the trilliums are into flower: