I love to think about gardens as an intimate Sanctuary. Where do we feel more in contact with our true selves than in nature? Breathing in the oxygenated damp air of a forest, walking through dew glistening grass in the morning and lying down in the midst of a perfumed meadow … peace is entering us.
Some people and among them landscape architects and designers, are saying that gardens are not nature. I don’t agree.
Gardens might be a creation of men and therefore not natural but they are still a piece of nature, just as humans and animals are nature also. We are all from the same origin, all one family of sorts.
Most people don’t have immediate access to « true » nature. Where is it to find anyway? It might be thousands of kilometers away.
Of course untouched nature has a very special effect on us. Maybe a reconnection or a recognition takes place on a very deep level? I don’t know.
For me it counts to connect to places, which at least evoke the natural world. Gardens, which are very cleanly designed, don’t inspire me.
That does not mean that the structure of a garden should not be carefully designed and executed.
I like it when plants are looking as if they enjoy themselves and I may watch them playing. Then I can forget myself for a moment or two. I can marvel at the delicate beauty of a meadow perennial, or watch a butterfly getting drunk on flowers. These are small moments of joy to collect and knit together to a happiness coat.
A garden can be designed in ways to create moments of joy similar to those we experienced as children when the world was pure wonder. Actually - the world is still an amazing wonder and we can always keep the experience of our child eyes awake.