Strange Flowers

14 Apr

I enjoy the irony of one of the minority of online journals that I read that isn’t about gardening being called Strange Flowers. The author has recently posted a quote of Wilde’s that I myself posted on my other/old blog a couple of months ago. “There is an unknown land full of strange flowers and subtle perfumes, a land of which it is joy of all joys to dream, a land where all things are perfect and poisonous.” I’d like that written up in the garden somewhere.

Why “perfect AND poisonous”? Well, to answer that is complicated. Nonetheless, I am going to try, repeatedly, because it is so important for why I garden. Gardening has in tow a very long baggage train of wholesome associations. Everything is rosy in a good garden. IMPOSSIBLE! I can’t create my ideal space. This is partly for practical reasons but also because I am at heart a very contrary person, because happiness is not voluntary, because I am cynical and easily bored, etc etc. A garden’s flaws cannot be finally and definitively fixed – and no I do not refer you to floppy clichés of beauty being subjective or gardening being no more than inconsequential weekend pottering: they are not true – such flaws as exist are not down to a lack of effort, skill or resources. Bad gardens exist because utopia does not exist; bad gardens are a good argument for utopia. In other words, and speaking more practically, a good garden is one that expresses fantasy but lies in reality. Or, returning to Wilde,

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking in the stars.”


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