Saturday, 23 March 2013

Dragon Oak

Here's a couple of photos of a new garden I've recently started.
The first is how it began for me.

The second after a couple of months.

Our place

It’s Earth hour, the time we turn off our lights and bring to mind the world we live in. This is a state of mind common among many who garden or spend long periods outside. There are times whilst out pottering amongst the undergrowth, on your knees weeding, stretching for the elusive weeds buried amongst leaf litter whilst the feeling of the damp earth creeps in through your trousers that you find a feeling of belonging, of being integrated into the very surface of the garden and the world.
Being in the garden on a daily basis for hours on end year after year means you get to know it fairly intimately, the soil and microclimates, the plants all becoming part of you for the time you’re out there. You get to know the shrubs and trees individually and from the moment you start in the morning, clip the secateurs to your belt and step into the garden you know that this will be your world for the next 8 hours. During this time there will be moments when all you’re thinking about is the garden, it’s all very zen in a way, “to garden well you must become the garden” but it’s kinda true and on top of that it also can’t be helped, it just gets into your veins. Not forgetting of course that the very atoms that are now being used to make up our bodies were once part of rocks, soil, plants and countless creatures.

Go outside when you finish this and take in the scale and volume of plant life and soil around you. It’s immense! And it’s not just in front and below either, when you look at trees, I mean really look at trees you can suddenly feel quite small. Even a small tree is bigger than we are and a fully grown hundred plus year old tree can leave one awe struck.
Now consider the ground below. A heaving mix of plant roots, creatures, bacteria, microhabitats and soil, all very much alive and on which you now stand. Even when sat cosy in your house not far below you there is a whole world going on which when added to the environment just the other side of the wall makes for one hugely fantastically wondrous world that you and I are part.

Finally consider where we are in all this, small but significant parts in the whole swirling, teeming surface of this amazing planet.
The next time you’re out in the garden stand up, put your feet firmly on the ground (barefoot it preferably) and feel the world around you.