It is said that the garden reflects the nature of its owner and their view (and possible changes to their view) of the world. I agree with that completely. When you‘re out on a walk, look into other peoples‘ gardens, you‘ll see gardens growing wild and untrimmed, gardens that look like they were designed and kept up by a professional gardener, yet still feel somewhat bland and uninteresting. Perhaps that‘s the owner‘s fault or even the fault of the current garden trends. Nevertheless, sometimes you will see gardens that don‘t have a particularly perfect structure but you often see the owner in them, relaxing, trimming, making adjustments. Gardens in which there is life.
Our family definitely belongs to the last group. Our garden is a place where we spend a lot of our time „at home“, our family dinners, weekend meals, birthday parties, coffee drinking or an evening glass of wine rarely take place inside the house between April and September.
Our garden definitely shows the changes in our family life. When the children were younger, it was a place of fun, games and constant exploration. It was a place that had to be safe for them, but at the same time diverse enough to still be interesting.
I always liked a certain wildness in my garden. I never minded the flowers that the wind blew in, especially if they blossomed in a nice way, overgrown oregano plants that attract a huge amount of butterflies as well as big, spread out lavender plants that are surrounded by bumblebees during their blossom, during which they release a strong scent that covers the whole garden in a wonderful aroma. I don‘t mind the flowers that were planted accidentally by birds during their flight over our land. Actually, I think that in a part of our garden the birds were the best gardeners, as years ago they planted three trees with an almost perfect spacing – a cherry tree, a walnut tree and a Salix lucida willow, all of which currently have over three meters in height and are towering over the northern border of our land above flowers that grow underneath them. However, it remains true that the wildness was also part of the reason why we couldn‘t spend more time on perfecting the garden.
Nowadays, when our children are almost grown up and are exploring the world in different places and without our assistance, the garden continues to change. It‘s ceasing to be a place for games and beginning to be more of a place for relaxing, an island of tranquillity to return to after a day in the noisy and hectic city of Prague. That‘s when I like to take a moment to sit down in the garden to listen and watch the slow and quiet workings of the nature around me. It enables me to find a feeling of calmness and happiness within me without an obvious reason, to forget the everyday errands, that often catch us into the chronical feeling that we “do not have time”.
Partly consciously, partly unconsciously, our garden is beginning to approach my idea of a wabi-sabi garden. Slightly tamed, slightly subdued but nevertheless gracefully calm. A garden that still looks barely touched by humanity in some parts, even though we spend a lot of time enthusiastically working on it. The daybeds in a covered part of the garden with an excellent view of the grown trees and constantly growing flowers are my favourite spot, and not just for a summer laziness. The old hammock located under a full-grown walnut tree is a great spot for some quality time spent reading a book. A previously not-so-used corner of our garden has become, after the construction of a pond with fish, a sought out a place for contemplation, and not just by myself.
Hopefully, one day all of the individual parts of our garden come together to form a path, after which if any of us go through, will remain connected with nature through sounds, smells, sight, touch and taste. Though short, a journey through a variety of sensorial experiences.
And yes, I do believe a garden reflects the nature of its owner and their view of the world.