Everyday I work with buildings. I design, detail and build them. They are hard and almost predictable. The client gives you a brief, you design to it, and then the quantity surveyor makes it cheaper. They build it and hopefully, you will be able to look at it rather than away from it when complete.
On the other side of my life, the gardening experience is the closest to a free fall I can think of. You plant the seeds, and no matter how much, or how little you do, the sad truth is that it is not in your hands whether you win or you loose.
You buy the plants at the right time, and they flourish when they feel ready to do so… A bit like children… They are their own “people”… all you can do is create the best conditions.
I see the garden divided in two: I have the vegetable side (useful, grateful, happy and gratifying) and the ornamental side (use-less but full of charm and interesting in a more subtle way.
I have an avocado tree that has been with me for at least 8 years, moving around from flat to flat and house to house. Every time i look at this tree, i have the feeling that it needs a haircut with structure, but I know that if i did do that, the uniqueness implicit in its wilderness would be gone.
I also have the best behaved ivy in the world. Living happily in a hanging basket, never explores further than necessary, and survives almost anything.
I have a gorgeously shaped acer (maple), which mom gave us as a present. It is one of those with feather like leafs… every spring the leafs grow in abundance, and every summer they dry due to the heat. I am moving it around trying to find the right spot, but i have not succeeded yet.
And then i also have my little experiments… I collect seeds which i find in places i visit, and i then try to grow the plants at home… Before anyone flips, they are all seeds form the island and i shall not spread them everywhere. I plan to grow them in pots,where i can keep a close eye…