I am not a true gardener : I don’t grow edibles, or so few they don’t count. The size of my garden is to blame, but so is my privileged existence in a rich country where it is more convenient and often cheaper to buy food at the supermarket (oh wait… ). I therefore get to indulge in the luxury of growing things mainly for their appearance – the evil of pure aesthetics. I’d like to protest that it isn’t true, that my supposedly useless flowers, leaves and shrubs can never be reduced to the visual pleasure they give rise to : in fact, in the garden, everything is tactile, from colours to structures, including scents ; I can feel visual rhythms as waves in my chest, and it seems to me one can be fed through the skin.
I also find an aubergine plant or a bunch of raspberry canes a lot less conducive to fruitful conversation than, let’s say, delphiniums and honesty and even humble weeds (in fact, very young plants and weeds are my preferred talking companions, the first needing much encouragement and the latter, for whose strength I have great respect and to whom I am rarely rude, long sophistic subtleties as to why they shouldn’t be here nor there).
Apart from fruit trees and herbs, edibles just don’t excite me in the same way, I struggle to hear their voice. I guess my senses might soon become a lot acuter when the food industry starts to fail. The situation being thus, I am starting to wonder how much it would take for me to pull up my plants for beans and potatoes. What do you say ? I need an allotment ? Don’t we all ? Besides the long waiting lists, I can foresee that without a car, I wouldn’t keep up. Or would forget to come home. And here I am again, finding excuses.
Meanwhile, the utter joy of these Winston Churchill daffodils. I need only to see them to be flooded by their heady voluptuous scent.