Friday, November 22, 2013

Lost in Space

My main point in writing this post is to suggest that the landscape can offer a more beautiful outlook than what most of us contrive in our gardens.
I'd decided to head out to the country today, on the train, about an hour north of Melbourne, to see a little somewhere I'd like to live in. Believe me, if you are wanting to head off to a lively little country town, do NOT head off to Kilmore East... I did.
A hamlet, I'd call it, Kilmore East, without a single shop, cafe or pedestrian ( well - there was me ). Home to retirees, the real reason to visit is to wander beyond the housing, beneath its surrounding rolling hills.
This, to me, is already a garden, but it's not, of course. It's a bit of country land, mowed by just-visible sheep. You see, as I'm getting older, I really don't want to have a garden at all. I want to transplant myself to a country landscape where nature's done/doing the work.
Did a clever stylist plant this? No, it just happened, here on the roadside, a bit out of Kilmore East, on Sunday Creek Road. 
This COULD be a deliberately planned garden-scape. Fortunately, the garden-makers of much of the land I saw today haven't yet stuck their toxically-bright bits of geometrically logical exotic flowerdom into this peaceful bit of paddock.
In this grove of Eucalypts burnt by bushfire but re-growing mops of leaves, I see a troupe of dancers performing a delicate dance. Did they need a human director? No.

Having tucked into my lunch, here in a one-time former bus shelter - almost the only place in Kilmore East  to sit - with the prospects of both the human imprint and a broader native amplitude before me, I've decided we gardeners could do well to just let nature take its course...instead of poking and prodding it into a malformed drudgery of weeds and alien aesthetics.


  1. Billy I had to say what I did here. Going out to the country, where you see so much beautiful landscape, you become more aware of the intrusions gardeners make on that landscape. It bothers me that the hype says gardeners are great people and anything they do is great, whereas in truth, I feel, alot of gardeners bugger up the world around them. They import a sensibility that is alien to the world they've moved into. They turn their back on the landscape around them in order to re-create a memory or a feeling that may be entirely out of place. Gardeners can do as much damage to this world as anybody else. And what's worse, it's all disguised as fun.

  2. Beautiful landscapes, and the selfie. Great photos as well.

  3. Thanks Bob. I'm a star in my own world, aren't I?

  4. I don't know what to do.But not doing seems like the ideal answer. Lovely post thanks for taking us on the road with you, DJM

  5. Thanks Daniel; you're welcome. NOT doing has great appeal...

  6. Dear Faisal,
    I read your post when you first 'posted' it and it got me thinking. I have thought about it a lot, on and off, since then and while I see where you are coming, I think that for me things are different. As AGA and I make our plans to return to Melbourne one of the main things in our mind is a garden. A beautiful, full-on, flower-festooned garden with all the trimmings. Having lived for ten years in an apartment with only a window box we feel as though we have been starved of floral affection. Yes we can walk about in the parks and gardens in Europe but they are not our park or our garden. We cannot fiddle a bit there and rearrange things there. . . We can only look and move on.
    We love the beauty of the Victorian countryside (which is one of the reasons why we will be returning) and we love the beauty of a well stocked garden too, filled with immigrants from far away (just like me).
    Bye for now,
    When I look at views such as that shown in your first photograph, I always wonder what it would be like to stand on the top of that hill and look down on the world below.

  7. Dear kirk,
    I can understand completely your need to have some festooning! I'd probably go a bit mad if I had to live in an apartment, especially as I love to roam with dog in attendance!
    I guess I'm just feeling a good bit older lately and questioning whether I can stand the ongoing cycle that garden maintenance requires!
    There are so many beautiful places in the Victorian countryside.
    I hope you'll be continuing your blog after you leave Europe, for I'm sure you'll be newly motivated!
    Cheers Kirk.

    1. You bet I will be! That will be the stage of our fantastic adventures.

  8. I'm torn, Faisal! I love the countryside but I also love gardens. I don't think I can give up either of them. Your photo of the burnt eucalypts is stunning! You do find lovely things.

  9. I did a lot of walking that day, Carol! - but thank you. I can't get the country out of my blood!