There has always been an unresolved tension in gardening between the extent to which we feel the garden belongs to nature and the extent to which we feel it belongs to us: whether it is an expression of nature or of human artistic aspirations. It is a matter of how much domination and control over our gardens we want. There are no straight lines in nature. I don’t feel comfortable in symmetrical gardens where everything is geometrically arranged with plants in regimented rows.

I agree with the pioneer of wild gardens, William Robinson (1838-1935), who held that it was nature who was the supreme artist, and the gardener only the assistant. He believed in trusting nature and staying true to her guidance. That is why this Robinsonesque corner of Hermitage Park in Helensburgh gave me such delight.

Wild flowers in a garden

*****

september windfall
fills asphalt autumn gutter -
another season

Autumn fruit selection

*****

calm sea, flightless swan
cleaves V-shaped waves
like departed skeins

*****

morning mist whispers
in white to gossamer webs
which entrap dew pearls

Spider webs on a tree