Monday, March 27, 2017

Monday Forum - secret gardens

I am mildly addicted to an ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Program Dream Gardens. This will not come as a surprise to regular readers given my past references to gardens and gardening.
Modern suburban Australian native garden. This is an example of a garden I do not like. It's decorative, but fairly useless.  
My thinking about gardens has been affected by my love of and experience with vegetable gardens. It's also been influenced by gardens that break the heat of the Australian summer, places where you can gather or just sit on a hot day.

I do like some of the British country or great house gardens.These are more decorative, focusing on vistas, formal arrangements and sometimes quaint retreats or mazes.

The maze at Scone Palace, Perth where eldest and I wandered. These are places where one visits, but normally not places where (unless you happen to be the owners!) you can treat as a living experience.
As a child, I loved the secret bits in gardens. The hedge along which a path had been burrowed. The secret spot in which you could sit and observe the world. The tree or roof which provided a special observation point.

I was an adult when I first read Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden, but it instantly appealed to the child in me. It still does!

Then, too, gardens are a place to play or to steal things such as fruit. I still remember collecting raspberries that I then mashed with sugar and cream to create a delicious mess.

This brings me to the topic of today's forum. What do you like/dislike about gardens? What are your favourite memories? If you were designing a garden, what must it include?

As always, feel free to go in whatever directions you want.  


2 tanners said...

Herbs. A profusion of beautiful smelling, wonderful herbs. And shade trees.

The other day I cooked osso buco (beef shin with finely diced vegetables in beef stock with a dash of red wine. Something was missing. I wandered out into the garden and cut herbs almost at random, tied them into a bouquet garni, and tossed it in. Just right!

Anonymous said...

Every time I see the phrase 'secret garden' I go back to a time when this music - the whole album, in fact - got me through some dark spaces:

This is the fourth song from Secret Gardens album Songs From a Secret Garden, from 1995.

Worth putting on while you prep for the ossobuco - up loud, in a quiet place.


Jim Belshaw said...

"Herbs. A profusion of beautiful smelling, wonderful herbs. And shade trees." Definitely! But 2t you are again making our mouths water.

Morning, kvd. That is a lovely piece. I have it on in the background as I respond. Visiting Scone Palace with its very varied gardens including wild, one thing that was very noticeable was the different way in which people were taking advantage of the gardens to eat or just sit. Ditto for the Domain in Sydney, another beautiful space.

Gardens have to fit with but can also create their own micro-environments. That's especially important on the New England.

2 tanners said...

Ah, kvd. Too peaceful for my cooking, I am afraid. Although I confess to the occasional Enya while cooking, I am more likely to have AC/DC or Led Zeppelin thumping out the speakers. And apologies, Jim, I deliberately tried not to have foodie porn in this post - it was all about the garden.

Jim Belshaw said...

I am not averse to food porn, 2t, especially from you!