Gardening isn’t going away

I don’t know what all the fuss is about; gardening isn’t going to disappear, even though garden writers seem to be wringing their hands over the prospect.  I believe that there are gateway plants, and we are at the tip of a new gardening cycle.  Plant a potato today, and tomorrow it will be an aster, the next day a hydrangea after that a paperbark maple.  Do you think that Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll said, “Oh dear, gardening is on the decline, so let’s just not talk about lavender anymore.”?  Did Christopher Lloyd care that you don’t know what an Aeonium is?

            pots at Great DixterOK, he probably did care, because he was a good garden educator, witty and opinionated.  I still pick up his books and begin to read them, often going over the same passages again and again.  My favorites are The Well-Tempered Garden, Christopher Lloyd’s Garden Flowers and, with Beth Chatto, Dear Friend and Gardener.  His home and garden, Great Dixter, are open to the public, so although he died a few years ago, he’s still teaching us to be daring in the garden.

            Geoffrey Smith, a UK gardener, writer and broadcaster, just died last week, and I include him here when talking about how gardening will continue.  I just listened to Friday’s broadcast of Gardeners’ Question Time on BBC Radio 4 and they included a tribute to Geoffrey Smith.  I love his Yorkshire accent, and appreciate his ability to cut to the chase.  Good writers and speakers are good, no matter if their topic is gardening or politics (although given the choice, gardening is much more interesting to read about).

            Gardeners and gardens abide.


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