The Sweetness of Doing Nothing!

There is no garden without work!

Gardens do not simply happen; they are the result of our interventions, our planning and designs, our labour and maintenance and, though most will take the attitude that doing what you enjoy, what is your pastime and hobby, is not work in the usual sense of the word, it is undeniable that there is considerable effort expended in the creation and maintenance of any garden.

It can happen that we fall into the habit or trap or perpetual work in our gardens and not take the time to “stand and stare”. I find that camera-in-hand is my time of standing and staring, my time of enjoying the garden, my time of having the pleasure of doing nothing – a phrase I heard in an interview with a retired Italian who, when asked what he worked at, replied that his life was ” the sweetness of doing nothing -Il dolce far niente ” I thought it was a great occupation. This is what I did last evening, a beautiful calm, warm and bright evening, at that time of day which photographer call “the golden hour”, the soft light of late evening. It is a beautiful time to walk the garden.

Mouse pot with Tulipa bakeri 'Lilac Wonder'
Mainly Tulipa bakeri ‘Lilac Wonder’ , carex in the pot, rhododendron above and the mouse on the pot which our grandchild enjoys visiting.
Primulas and Tulipa bakeri 'Lilac Wonder' on steps
A small flight of steps leading to a seat – which we so very rarely sit on – with Tulipa bakeri ‘Lilac Wonder’ and seedling primulas
Primulas on steps
Primulas go about their business and produce various colour variants which are always interesting and welcome in the garden.

There is so much to enjoy in our gardens for, if we have only one flower to admire, it is a marvel of nature, a marvel of design and beauty and a perfect pleasure to admire. Spending time in the garden also means that we notice the first shoot, the tip of a leaf, of a treasured plant. Two native orchids appeared yesterday – just the very tip of the first leaves – and it was such a thrill to see them, to have the reassurance that they have come through the winter and that they will grow away again this year.

Ajuga repans 'Caitlin's Giant' Cyclamen repandum Omphaloides cappadocium 'Starry Eyes'
Ajuga repans ‘Caitlin’s Giant’,  Cyclamen repandum and Omphaloides cappadocium ‘Starry Eyes’
Primula vulgaris, bluebells Lathyrus vernus
Plants will produce their own combinations with self-seeding here and there: Primula vulgaris, Spanish Bluebells and Lathyrus vernus
Fritillaria meleagris Alba White (3)
A white Fritillaria meleagris among the many purple-flowered ones growing in grass here.
Disporum sessile macrophyllum
Disporum sessile macrophyllum, a quiet and gentle plant.

The camera, photography, is my way of capturing these moments, of enjoying my garden, of having the pleasure of doing nothing.

Pheasant (5)
And, there is always company in our garden…hungry pheasants who follow around begging to be fed!
Pheasant (4)
Who could resist that sad eye!



8 thoughts on “The Sweetness of Doing Nothing!

  1. A lovely piece.Your garden is looking spring-like and beautiful. I am very well acquainted with doing nothing in the garden, and the importance of stopping and staring.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So true Paddy! I have developed the habit of a perambulation of the garden as the essential preparation for any gardening work and camera (or phone) in hand adds to the enjoyment! Hope you are getting back to a little light work in the garden too!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Years ago, when first married and when making our first garden, Mary and I used “walk the property” several times each day, just to look at the plants, to see what was growing, what was appearing, watching the changes, planning for new things etc etc. We always loved it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s