Saturday, January 12, 2013

Comparative gardening

A horticultural sonnet (Heaven forfend)...
[Proceed with caution]
                                                         I gaze about my modest yard and sigh

                                                        (I don’t have half the budget of Versailles).

                                                         I bow to Nenuphar on bended knees

                                                         (My pond is not size of Giverny’s)

                                                          But if I had a brush like Claude Monet

                                                          I’d paint my lily, not a stack of hay!

                                                          My list of plants is not as long as Kew’s

                                                          Ask me for cuttings though: I shan't refuse!

                                                          Try as I may I’ll never be half the trixter

                                                          That Christo was when he embellished Dixter

                                                           Nor will I reach the height of old Filoli

                                                           Where amber light in March is almost holy

                                                           And yet I love the limits of my garden

                                                           As much Beatrix did her own Dumbarton.


  1. Panayoti,

    You will have to give us mere mortals foot notes so we might understand your verse.

    I too love my small rock garden. My rock garden is even smaller than yours. It is not even as large as my more fortunate neighbor’s hot tubs. I think a hugely attractive aspect of rock gardening is the ability to grow many plants in small places. Ever increasing housing prices force me to live in apartments until recently. Rock garden plants were perfect for the few containers I could keep on my apartment patio.

    In my hot-tub sized rock garden I have Erigeron, Erigonium, Eritrichium, and that’s just the E’s. I also have smaller species of Crypthantha, Gilia, Hymenoxys, Oxytropis, and Phlox. I would have had more if it was not for a ground burrowing caterpillar that I caught in the act too late. The whole time I was wondering how the rabbits were getting past my chicken wire!

    I would love to share photos of my prized plants this year. It is a shame I have been scorned by those societies with venues that would allow me to publicly share images of my treasured plants. I guess I will only be showing photos of my plants to you Panayoti.


  2. You must start your own Blog, James! I will be the first to sign up and I'll get others to too! (It's fun--you can track visitors and connect with others)...And if you sign up for Facebook I'll make sure you get onto the secret sites that make it fun. And you can publish in the journals where your pictures will be saved forever. I have pretty much given up on the RG sites--too vast and cumbersome, so I have no sympathy there...

    Sorry my poem is so absturse: I compare my modest garden to five of the greatest gardens (not entirely unfavorably): Versailles, Giverny, Kew, Dixter and Dumbarton Oaks. If you re-read it you might see it's anything but subtle!

    Back to winter...uggggh.

  3. Thanks for the sponnet! I only understand half the allusions, but I'll educate myself while I wait...for....spring

  4. Thanks for the kind comment...the allusions are not too deep, believe me! If you don't know one of those gardens or designers you will be glad to find them out. If you have half fun decoding that I had concocting it you won't regret it.

  5. It's such a perfect ode to both great gardens but also loving your own equally. Thanks for sharing it.
    David in Berkeley

  6. Thank you, David! I get nervous about posting poems on my rather pure planty blog. You assuaged my trepidation! (I'll bet no one has credited you with THAT before--at least not so polysyllabically!)


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