I love to purchase and collect Books as you may gather by now. Some years ago when I used to go to Kew Gardens near Richmond in Surrey, for the day, quite often. I purchased a beautiful Box set of The Royal Horticultural Society Treasury of Garden Writing and Treasury of Garden Verse.
For the next few days, if you don’t get too bored I would like to show some items from this lovely collection. From Treasury of Garden Verse, comes the following – Enjoy
To Every Thing There Is A Season
To every thing there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant,
and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down,
and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn,
and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather
stones together; a time to embrace,
and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep,
and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence,
and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war,
and a time of peace.
From Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3
January brings the snow,
Makes our feet and fingers glow.
February brings the rain,
Thaws the frozen lake again.
March brings breezes loud and shrill,
Stirs the dancing daffodil.
April brings the primrose sweet,
Scatters daisies at our feet.
May brings flocks of pretty lambs,
Skipping by their fleecy dams.
June brings tulips, lilies, roses,
Fills the children’s hands with posies.
Hot July brings cooling showers,
Apricots and gillyflowers.
August brings the sheaves of corn,
Then the harvest home is borne.
Warm September brings the fruit,
Sportsmen then begin to shoot.
Fresh October brings the pheasant,
Then to gather nuts is pleasant.
Dull November brings the blast,
Then the leaves are whirling fast.
Cill December brings the sleet,
Blazing fire, and Christmas treat.
Sara Coleridge (1802 – 1852)
To walk through the Gardens of Kew is like walking through the Gardens of Heaven, those that we imagine, at least that is what I think. Beautiful flower beds, all sorts of plants and shrubs small, large, extra large, the Woods all the Trees its all there one can get lost it’s all so wonderful. I love Gardens, real Gardens – I don’t like regimented ones where all the plants line up like Soldiers. I like Gardens where you may find Peonies and a Cabbage it does not matter to me that this plant does not go with that plant. I plant what I like where I like and if I like it well thats OK.
To me to see a Bluebell Wood is so divine, I love Woods the Trees all Trees – high or low crooked or straight I just love Trees. They say so much and how many of us have hugged the Trees, no we are not mad, nothing wrong in hugging a Tree. I do it all the time, tell our secrets to them.
When someone I love dies or I feel close to, or have known for a long while and miss, I plant a Tree to remember them, yes my Garden is full of Trees not very popular amongst the neighbours I don’t think. So many Birds nesting, Squirrels making their homes – my Garden full of all these beautiful funny little creatures. Nature belongs to them, no one has the right to take it away. I get very upset when I hear the chainsaws come out, heard one this Saturday just gone, I do tend to shout out and tell them to stop cutting down the Trees to no avail. I detest these people who dig up their Gardens and lay concrete.
Once upon a time, Great Britain used to be a nation of Gardeners, now its Patios and concrete and BBQs and Hottubs all the ghastly stuff – instead of looking out onto their Gardens and seeing Trees and Plants and flowers and shrubs, I know what I would prefer.
How did I get to like Gardens, well my Mother would never let me pick a flower or smell the blossom at May time – my Birthday Month, or pick the grass, in case I cut myself or got dirty – true honestly. The Boy next door taught me how to climb Trees, my Mother only caught me a few times, worth the cane I got.
Every Summer when Fords Motor Company would close its doors for the annual Holidays, my Parents would take my older sister and myself over to my Mothers Parents in Southern Ireland, West Cork. I couldn’t wait to get to Nana’s and Grandad’s and be out in the Acres. Every morning Nana would give me a billie can full of milk and slices of the brown Soda Bread she had made that morning, lashings of butter she had churned on top and off with Teddy I would go exploring this wild Country – only down the Acre but to me if I could not see the roof of the Cottage and my Mother could not see me I WAS HAPPY, it was Heaven. I would pick the grass, the wildflowers, dip my fingers in the stream and most of all sit and watch The Fairy Ring that Nana and Grandad would tell me stories about and the Fairies, The Little People that would come out at night, I believed it too true I did. I still believe in the Fairy Rings, don’t ask my age!!
This was the beginning of my love for the Countryside and all the animals that were around, plus all the wild cats and kittens, I didn’t mind all the cuts on my arms. When I would hear my mother’s voice calling me back, I hated it I would cry because it was all ended until the next day. When we would have to return to England I hated it, really hated it I just wanted to stay, sit on the Shire Horse, do everything I had been doing, just wanted to hide in the acre in the hope my mother would not find me. It broke my heart to leave Ireland and I cried for days and days on return. and worse to come School would start again and did I hate School, to the day I left I disliked it. I shed so many tears, perhaps the happiest times of my life were spent in Ireland, where I felt at Peace.
My Nana made a Secret Garden all hers, she grew all sorts of things I remember these long spiky things that looked like pokers we had at home, and years later I was to plant them myself Red Hot Pokers. Nana had tiny wild roses rambling over the walls to her Secret Garden and the little green iron gate she found and hung herself. I loved that Secret Garden and I would hide there believing my mother would never find me but she did of course and there would be trouble in store.
It took me a long time to create my own Secret Garden in my Garden, but sadly the last two years now due to illness I have not been able to maintain it as I would wish, I have neglected it, and that upsets me. Hopefully this year it will be restored.
My Grandad told me when I was young, to pick up some earth from the Acre and hold it tight in my hand and feel the love for the land for Ireland, and I did and I do.
So Gardens, I just love them, small or large as long as you allow Nature as long as you plant what you want what you like and you think it looks good, enjoy your Garden, it will give you so much pleasure. Keep away from the Concrete please.
Thanks to “Matt Siems Youtube. Enjoy your trip around Kew Gardens.