Sunday, 27 July 2008

gardens and the human condition


Insomnia and the BBC World Service coupled up to draw my attention to this beguiling, offbeat little essay, Gardens: An Essay on the Human Condition.

It's not a book about gardens; it's a book about humans through the lens of gardens.

One of its most interesting ideas is the paradox that while we consider gardens cocoons of respite they are, of necessity, also places of care, places where "longing for repose is pitted against a deep restlessness".

It is, in horribly bland modern terms, an idea about work/life balance. The metaphorical garden must be a place where neither continuous labour nor wanton abandon can exist but instead a rich combination of the two.

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