Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Gardens and Balconies

In Britain about eighty per cent of the population have a garden. In Italy you're more likely to have a balcony.
I've been wanting to write this post for some time, to ramble on about gardens and balconies and say something about the difference between them. I was going to try and something wise and reassuring and it was all there in my head but wouldn't come out.
They say that if you do one thing in life that will make the world a better place you should plant a tree or create a garden.
Gardens can give pleasure to many generations, trees make the planet healthier. Gardens make you aware of the beauty of the seasons, of the joy of sitting outside and resting your gaze on plants and shrubs, watching out for the first snowdrop, the first blossom, the roses, then the falling of the leaves, the lovely Autumn colours.
Some people will plant trees in their garden just so they can enjoy the blossom for two weeks, that intense moment when you feel your heart swell as Winter lets Spring take over. Once the blossom falls off these trees have just ordinary green  leaves which blend in with all the others, but oh how joyous and spectacular is their moment of glory.
My brother loves listening to 'gardener's question time' and often such gems as this will pop up in his conversation, 'Ivy isn't bad for the cherry tree, it can twine itself around as much as it likes, they said so on Gardener's Question Time.'
Not everyone is lucky enough to have a garden or indeed they might not even want one, their life style wouldn't allow time for tending the plants and manicuring the lawns, but if you have a balcony you can equally join in with the delight of the changing of the seasons. Winter roses, heather, cyclamens, winter pansies all are happy to brave the elements and brighten up the winter days. Primula and crocuses can be planted in the Spring to remind you that winter is over, geraniums, and a whole variety of other plants for summer which will reward you every day with their bright and joyful colours.

So what I wanted to write about originally was how we can liken ourselves to a garden or a balcony. Some gardeners, like Capability Brown have created magnificent gardens that are still enjoyed today, but they still need looking after. they are a legacy but need care and attention to carry on for the enjoyment of future generations.
A balcony is of course a more passing creation. Plants are inevitably grown in pots and they need constant care and attention, the earth needs to be changed, fed, nourished.

I wanted to liken our lives to gardens and balconies, a garden person is hoping to give joy to furture generations a balcony person is more challenged here, but can still bring happiness and joy, from friends and family who call to passersby in the street who happen to look up and notice the flowers and shrubs. It's like the saying that goes, 'the only small corner of the world that you can change is your own.'

Then today i read something written by someone very cultured who said that the whole cosmos is in a garden it is there that we can observe everything that is good about life.
I know in other posts i have written about gardens and quoted poems, but today I'm just going to post some photos and hope they will inspire you to get to work on your own small corner.

Tulip bulbs planted last Autumn have decided it's safe to make an appearance, looking forward to meeting them

Foxgloves add  colour to a garden, no effort required

Bare  trees ae a stunning addition to a winter landscape

Red berries look cheerful on a cloudy day

Someone appreciates the effort

Hyacinths can be grown indoors and then put in a sheltered spot  so they last longer


  1. How true it is to say we can only change our own corner of the world, but oh my what pleasure and happiness a beautiful garden or balcony can spread to others. In that sense, we can change things for others too, if only fleetingly. Beautiful flowers and blossom are like smiles. If you see them, they make you happy. You've now reminded me to tend to mine!

  2. PS: I used to love listening to Gardener's question time too! It's comforting, homely and real, rather like the shipping forecast and the farming programme :)