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Gardening in and of itself is an art form. And the art of fine
gardening is just that, an art.
Fine gardening may mean many things to many people, but to me fine
gardening means more than just a garden. It encompasses all that’s
good and graceful in gardening and combines them to make one garden
that is the epitome of all your dreams.
My enjoyment of fine gardening comes not only from the finished garden
but from the endless hours that I spend designing and planning the
actual garden, from the moment I first have the germ of an idea, to
the moment I place the last sapling, and plant the last flower.
All I want, all that I can be, should show through when first a person
steps into this land of fine gardening, a place of peace and calm
where a person can meditate on the finer things in life.
Therefore, a water feature, ideally one that will make a continuously
soothing gurgle, with a small stepping-type of waterfall-cum-pond,
placed on lovely slabs of flat rock with a hint of moss growing on it.
A nice water lily or lotus to give off a contrasting color, and
perhaps a fish or two. A few ferns and leafy rain-forest type plants
placed around the pond, and I’m finished with this stage of my fine
Ideally I would love a big tree to stand in a corner of the garden,
with a luscious velvety dark brown trunk that I can just about span
with my arms, overflowing with vibrant green leaves spilling onto
the ground in heedless abandon. Since I might not always get what I
want, I’ll settle instead for a few saplings that will one day fulfil
Since green is my target for the moment, I’d also see about laying a
lovely shady lawn that you can sink your bare feet into when taking a
turn about your garden.
I love the idea of a Zen garden, but prefer colors and lots of plants,
so I would incorporate this feature into my fine gardening efforts by
placing a path, naturally made out of rough hewn stone, zigzagging in
a leisurely course through the garden.
And to finish it all off I’d have a little alcove, unseen from afar,
that afforded the curious visitor a wide-angled view of the whole
garden, with a sun shade, and a low-lying bench with a few plump
cushions strewn carelessly about, and all of it surrounded by a
profusion of welcoming flowers.
In the distance I would set about placing a few boulders, pleasing
in stature and color to the eye, surrounded perhaps by a few flowers.
And amidst all this fine splendor I would walk amongst my heartfelt
efforts of fine gardening and sigh in satisfaction and peace. For
what more is there to gardening, than the art of fine gardening.
Tomorrow’s article will be on Flower Gardening – see you then!
All the Best – Ian Fleming