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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

VT 23.5.13


A satisfying garden is a resonant one.  That is easier to recognize than to pin down.  A resonant garden has things going on it that are not of the here and now.  Built into it there many be messages from previous owners of the garden and previous uses of the land.

Even after the mammoth building boom of the late twentieth-century, fewer people are the first-time occupiers of a house than live in places that others have lived in before.  Even if the house itself is new, the space around it may carry hints of what happened there previously.  Huge pear trees in suburban gardens round the outskirts of London remind us of the orchards that used the feed the tenement dwellers of the city.  Big old bay trees planted close to houses recall the time when gardeners believed quite literally that 'neither witch nor devil, thunder nor lighting will hurt a man in the place where a bay tree is,' as the seventeenth-century herbalist, Nicholas Culpeper, put it.

Anna Pavord, 'The Curious Gardener'

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