More musings - What Gardens are All About

I am interested in what opens the inner eye that children have, that makes you aware of what matters. 

Gardens are good at that.

Gardens and children go together. Like the little girl in the garden in the children's classic, 'The Secret Garden' by Frances Hodgson Burnett, gardens open a world of wonder if we only stop and peer into its mysteries...

this is a book for all ages - a great read!

Of course, the garden described in Hodgson's book was an English walled landscape but it could have been any kind of outdoor space devoted to bridging the gap between the human and the green world.....

A serene garden can be a magnificent boxwood construct filled with flowers or  a little sunny spot carved out of a wooded is a place where 'feeling ' is paramount, where the atmosphere tingles with Nature's radiance.

'Crystal Palace' Lobelia in a hanging basket upon a carved tree stump in one of my gardens - Jan Johnsen

There is great website from England called 'Thinkin Gardens' (click on it) that says it best:

"Gardens have lost their greater ambitions. They are no longer a stimulus for artistic debate nor are they an accepted medium for creative expression;

television has reduced gardening to entertainment.

We now judge gardens principally on the quality of their plants, planting and housekeeping which,
while they are vital raw materials in most gardens alongside design,

are only a contributory part of what gardens have to offer."

Amen to That!

But I guess 'feeling' and 'transcendence' are not easily transferable to the TV screen. Especially when people's attention span is diminished...what we miss when we stare at a LCD or whatever screen is the 'depth' of feeling.

Gardens restore that 'depth'  - they invigorate the 'now' from a pale, washed out beige to a bright, vibrant yellow. Gardens give us permission to sing....

As Mary Keen noted, a garden "makes you aware of what matters."

Johnsen Landscapes & Pools:  Coleus, Plectranthus, Ageratum in front, Blue Angelonia


  1. Thanks very true! When I was growing up one of my favorite summertime "haunts" was to take a book and read under a gorgeous huge old weeping beech tree. The branches draped all the way to the ground, and under those sheltering branches I could hide for hours with a good book. The ground was soft and dusty, fragrant with the scent of the trees. Even a light rain could not penetrate the leafy curtain. I think of those times as some of the most special moments of my growing up. I also discovered, years later, that this wonderful park was an Olmsted project, and that was certainly a man who understood the power of trees and the importance of connecting us to the natural world.

    1. Maggie - your words took me to your secret 'haunt'...are you a writer? ..if not, you should be. :-) Thanks for your evocative commentary!

  2. Thank you for your acknowledgement of thinkingardens and a gracious reflective post.

    1. Anne - I love Thinkingardens! and thank you for your kind words...I hope many people go to your wonderful website.


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