|The Importance of Dreams
Published in the six Nashoba Publishing papers on Friday, 4 January 2002
A garden starts with dreams. What kinds of landscape, of garden design, have moved you? A sheltered gazebo covered with sweet-smelling roses, inviting you to pause ... a rustic, winding path that leads you deep into childlike curiosity ... a straight walk, wide and stately, bordered on both sides with flowering hedges, giving a feeling of celebration pomp even to the process of traveling down it .... Places that welcome, that lift your spirits. In cold midwinter, it's time to dream.
It's important to dream big, dream dramatic dream gorgeous. Dreaming is not planning. When you get down to planning a project, you get practical. Before that, find what's deep in your heart, what feels special.
I'm dreaming of a water garden. Not just a birdbath or a fountain, but a stream with watercress trailing in it, and lush ferns beside it, and the Massachusetts state flower, the Trailing arbutus, covering the bank above it oh! the tiny, pale pink blooms of this rare plant have the sweetest, most delicate scent... if you know when to look under the fuzzy, low-growing leaves for them (in April or May; it's also called Mayflower). There'd be some tall Cimicifugas, with their big, showy leaves and long, slender, fluffy bottle-brush flowers ... and the constant friendly murmur of water rippling over rocks.
I'm dreaming of getting our whole yard landscaped. That means cleaning up a spot beside our garage where at some time coal was dumped, perhaps to kill plants in a driveway there. But if so, the driveway has moved; now this spot is just a place where nothing grows but some maples and weeds. I've dug up some of the coal (and coal dust), but there's much more. If I could remove enough of that poison, and get some decent topsoil in there, I could plant an aggressive ground cover like ivy or periwinkle, which wouldn't need any maintenance and would keep weeds down. It's the only ugly spot left in the yard: I long to tame it.
And I'm dreaming of a path from the main garden in my back yard, to a back door. This gets into house dreaming too, since we don't have a back door yet. (Who ever heard of a house without a back door?) I look out the window that may become the door, and visualize various paths. My favorite so far traces an S-curve, wandering through new beds for the herbs I use in cooking.
© Copyright 2002 Catherine Holmes Clark