The Long View

I visited a garden yesterday. It is a growing project, in all senses of the word, being lovingly carved out of thirteen acres of sandstone ground in the central goldfields of Victoria.

The owner has been there for ten years and is in the midst of creating an, in parts, formal and statuesque and, in others, cottage-y oasis for herself. In the face of excessive wets and drys, kangaroos, rabbits and the sheer volume of labour, the garden takes shape year by year.

It is a work in progress but not a work of days, weeks or months in duration, such as is the majority of mine. This is a decades-long project, if it is ever finished at all.

There is an amazing sense of planning at play here. And the most remarkable patience. The vision is large – both broad-sweeping and detailed. Taking a space, at whatever size, and recreating it in a new form takes incredible imagination – three-dimensional, artistic and in colour. And it is all complicated by the patience required. Nothing settles quickly. Seasons, years, decades go by before the outcome is glimpsed, let alone realised and confirmed as successful or not.

My comfortable time scale is short. I tend to dive into things now. Essentially, I am impatient to see results, change and development. My visit yesterday heightened my awareness of other ways of being. I can’t promise a change in my behaviour, or a magnificent garden, but I am intrigued by the contrast in approach. I see there is a vast continuum between making instantly and building over time.

I apologise to the gardeners among my family and friends for never fully appreciating the extent of the long-term vision and patience required to create their beautiful places. I do now. Thank you.

Until later,


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