SARK describes arriving in San Francisco for the first time and recognizing home: “It was like someone took a picture of my heart and painted a city around it.”
I love that idea and image.
If someone painted a city around your heart, what city would it be?
In my case, it wouldn’t be a city. I’m not an urban person, though I love periodic visits to cities for brief infusions of colour, culture, camaraderie.
SARK’s description resonates so deeply with me because that’s how I felt when I saw a photo of this garden in West Cork, Ireland, for the first time: Piet Oudolf took a picture of my heart and made a garden around it.
Complexity, texture, subtle colouring, the fusion of nature and art. I think this is what I’m trying to do with the garden I’m making: paint a picture of my heart. My body is the paintbrush, the earth my canvas, the plants my paint. I don’t see the finished painting in my mind, but I trust the process. I go to the garden with my spade. I dig, pull out stones and roots, add compost. Plant, water, weed. Uproot, rearrange. Water. Weed.
I don’t work alone, even though I’m the only person present. I dance with an unseen partner.
Slowly, the garden emerges and surprises me.