– A Garden from a Hundred Packets of Seed –
become plausible or popular if it did not reflect a certain wisdom. But may I respectfully suggest that it is not the only way to garden? It may be one wise way to operate, but it is not the only wisdom available to humankind. To take the simplest counterexample: in Britain every town has several communal gardens in which one can rent assigned plots known as allotments; these are used mainly for growing vegetables and fruit; an allotment gardener does not have to start with a design. The important question is: What do I want to grow?
The design of an allotment is hardly an issue. Content is everything. So the allotment gardener in January may be happily and appropriately engaged in the simple act of compiling lists: this is what I want to eat this year, or this is what I want to grow for the challenge, or this is what has piqued my curiosity.
Why should the flower gardener not feel the same? Why should he or she not ask: What do I feel like growing this year? What delights me? What bores me? What is ravishing? What is revolting? Flower fanatic and vegetable fiend, we are seated at the same kitchen table, leafing through many of the same catalogues. The same gales are howling around the rooftops. The same frosts are glazing the water butts. Why should I not feel, this January, the same
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