“The best purpose of a garden is to give delight.” – Gertrude Jekyll, 1901
And delight is something that gardens give in abundance. Gardens engage not only sight but hearing, touch, smell and taste. They are places where life can be lived – secret spaces explored, romances started, books read, friends entertained. Those with patience and an artistic turn of mind can absorb themselves in the task of beautifying their gardens.
Gardens allow the imagination to run riot on a grand scale. Gardens can be the perfect place to throw a party. Gardens can be visited over and over again, because every garden changes subtly each time a visitor returns. A gentle rain enhances the aroma of pine and roses; sunlight creates textures of shade; a carpet of snow scrunches underfoot; frost rimes leaves with a tracery of ice that dissolves to the touch; freshly plucked berries stain the tongue. Winter is quiet; spring is full of promises. Summer hums, and fall ushers in sharp colours and crisp sounds.
No matter how grand or simple, no matter where it is found in the world, the garden is somewhere people come to celebrate the joys of life and find shelter from their cares.
We all have gardens of which we dream.
I definitely recommend to any gardener or anyone who enjoys the beauty of gardens to read ‘the Armchair Book of Gardens’ by Jane Billinghurst. This book is a collection of writings that explore the garden at many angles. I picked up this book at Chapters and it’s neat to read writings from the 1700’s where poets and novelists portray the garden as a showpiece or celebrated the opening of a blossom on a summer’s day. A great read.