When I am in pain, I need to spend time in the garden because the plants often help me find a solution or a different perspective. That’s why a couple of weeks ago I decided to go and visit the Lambley nursery, looking for silence and inspiration.
For those who have never heard about Lambley, there are two main reasons to go there: the first is a refined collection of perennial plants, most of them drought resistant; the second is the owner, David Glenn, an English man with an impressive botanical knowledge and extremely generous when it comes time to share it.
So, I found myself walking on my own in a gorgeous garden: in fact, Lambley is not just a nursery: it is also a laboratory where David test plants, combinations and cultivation techniques. Surrounded by the silence, it was just me, the plants and the sky.
In winter, each garden honestly reveals its structure, its design; flowers and leaves can’t distract you and you can focus on essential aspects: “Do the hedges harmoniously design the structure?” “Are the evergreen specimens well placed?” “Is there a good balance between empty and full spaces?”. Shortcomings and qualities are now visible and unequivocal.
I realized that the same thing happens when we allow ourselves a moment of quiet and reflection, a pause in our busy life. When there is nothing external that can distracts us, we have the time to observe our “inner garden”. “Is there something that we can improve?” “Is it well balanced?” “Is the structure strong enough?” “Does it make sense?”.
“Am I happy with myself?”
I must confess that sometimes I am scared of slowing down; it’s when my imperfections become monstrously noisy, evident and unbearable. It’s when I face my fears and I see the ugly parts of ‘my garden’.
While I am walking alone in my thoughts, a majestic gum tree pops up in front of me. Only the sky, the brightest and shiniest I have ever seen restrains it; the other trees, as if they were scared, make a group, far away. Brave and persistent, it keeps trying to conquer the sky with its branches. The bark is squamous and the trunk is deformed, but you know what? All these imperfect features are exactly what make it magnificent. This tree, like me, is trying to find its shape.
I start to understand. Instead of being scared of my imperfections, I have to embrace them. Then, like the leaves, I have to let my fears fall down and reveal things as they are, because there is nothing to hide. My life is the most beautiful masterpiece I can make, the best garden I can grow. I have just to work on essential things, so that my winter garden has the same charm as the summer effect.
I have to have faith because nature always knows where we have to go.