Crazy for Trees

Chapter Five: Garden as Biographer

What is a garden but a representation of who we are? It should think and look and feel as we do. If I am successful, then this garden should uniquely speak for me, with my voice and hopes and dreams. But more, it should tell secrets I might have only guessed at. I should be able to discover myself in my garden. My garden should be a key to my soul if I decide to enter the door, with eyes wide open. But what do I see? And what does the seeing tell me?

"Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are," -Alfred Austi

I see my mother and I see myself as being so much like her. The garden, for us, is a place of refuge and unequalled beauty.

And what do I learn? I learn I am a worrier, over-imaginative, and at times fearful and overwhelmed, I turn to the earth and she takes me in her arms and invites me to be her child.

My garden reveals another aspect of my being that I can not ignore. It has to do with a hunger, a desire to embrace life, and never turn your back on any part of it. I am not sure how to describe this character trait. I do know, however, if I were not this way, I would never have tackled this project in the first place, and certainly never have forged on after concussions, failures and clear cutting neighbours. And I learn that though I am a worrier, the worry does not stop me. I realize, perhaps, that I am courageous.

The sensuous garden—that idea, to me, is more than an adjective to describe a budding Sedum, a blooming angel's trumphet, heavy with perfume and sweetened night air. It is more than a sun dappled Clematis or a soft spoken Lavatura, a wild bleeding heart, full of morning breath. It is me, feeling sensuous. Oh god, I am beautiful in my garden and I am falling in love. Again and again and again.

Clematis Meadows



Wild Bleeding Heart

Sections to Chapter Five

Garden as Biographer

Table of Contents

Night Watering:


The habit of worrying gets passed on from mother to daughter like a family heirloom that should have been left in the old country. And like her mother, the daughter uses the garden to create a place of refuge to wash away the worry in a flood of work and anticipation and exhilaration. Exhiliration at the sight of the sun playing its song on the leaf of a Fall Viburnum.

No Damn Onions:

Break bread with me, work with me, plant with me, and be my friend. A gardener encourages working visitors so that they can create a place to grow together.

Almost Nuts:

The neighbours chop down a living wall of cedar, sixty feet high and twenty feet wide, sending wild life fleeing toward the highway, exposing tin sheds, old trucks and a trailer home. Wails of anguish from the gardener, until she sees the new view of the ocean, the light which floods a darkened corner. She imagines a new entrance to the forest and begins to plant the Katsura Allé. Opportunity is what the garden offers, endless opportunity for more and more and moreif you're willing to imagine and to go bloody cutting and chopping and pulling your way through acres of blackberries, stinging nettle, alders and buttercup.

Pillow Talk:


The gardener embraces the garden with passion and hope, with fear and tenderness and heart-stopping anticipation. And the garden, a good lover, rewards with breathtaking sensual satisfaction.

Gardener | HylaCrazy for Trees What's New?

Crazy for Trees: Synopsis  |  Crazy for Trees: Chapter One  |  Crazy for Trees: Chapter Two  |  Crazy for Trees: Chapter Three  |  Crazy for Trees: Chapter Four  |  Crazy for Trees: Chapter Five  | 

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