Sunday 10 May 2009

Gardens - our interface with nature

You can hardly make her out, but I think this picture shows a vixen disappearing into the den at the end of my garden.

Several mornings over the past week I have seen mummy vixen and three little cubs playing on my lawn. This has usually been when I am quickly making a cup of coffee in my kitchen before rushing off to work, or to visit my mum who has a broken wrist; no time to get my camera.

This morning, I wasn't busy getting ready to go out, but by the time I found my camera and went upstairs to get a clearer view from a bedroom window, the fox family were disappearing into their earthy home.

The other day I was watching a programme on the BBC about the history of gardening. At the end, various people talked about what gardens should be today and I found myself in agreement with journalist and writer Germaine Greer, who said she thought people should regard their gardens as "an interface with nature" rather than an "outside room" - an extension of their home, to design to suit their own desires without thought for the other creatures that live there.

I realised Germaine Greer's view is exactly how I see my own garden. Before going into my garden, I always look to see if there is any wildlife there - if there is, I will often simply watch from my window rather than disturb the birds feeding or foxes playing. I also leave the end of my garden wild, so creatures like my foxes can enjoy it.

As well as being famous for her feminist writings, Germaine Greer is a garden enthusiast and edited the book Poems for Gardeners.


Anonymous said...

I like that--an "interface with nature." My own approach to gardening has evolved, and more and more I do see my garden as less a place to "tame" and more of a way to interact, with me being just one part of many, no more important or less.

I'll be honest and say that I still tend to want to bend the garden to my own will--but my thoughts are changing, my perspective is changing. My actions--hopefully--aren't far behind.

Of course, my partner doesn't always hold the same opinions as I do, and he's more of a gardener than I am. I defer to him sometimes in the interest of domestic peace....!

Badwitch said...

I agree gardens always need a little taming :)