I Would Like My Roses To See You
By Liz Nicholson
Richard Brinsley Sheridan (born in Ireland, 1751), playwright of The School for Scandal, once commented, “Won’t you come into the garden? I would like my roses to see you.”
I love the personification of the roses and the sense that the garden is in charge… In so many ways, we know that it is! Green-fingered gardeners feel obliged to their gardens, more timid folk feel rather scared by their gardens, and even us hardened professional gardeners feel somewhat indebted to our outdoor spaces.
Any amount of gardening is never enough, and I often see gardens completely control friends and family when the yellow book beckons! A problem of human nature is the pursuit of perfection; an oxymoron when dealing with anything authored by nature like a garden. We are seriously deluding ourselves to believe that we may come even close to control – so my view is that enough is enough. Know when to stop.
My personal rule – having raised two lovely children and tended an acre of garden while running our growing business – has been to ‘spend more time in the garden relaxing than working’.
Not always easy to achieve (and many times, we have totally lost control) but it holds as our family maxim.
At Rosara, we know that one of the ‘tools’ that enable us to keep balance in the garden is providing plenty of places to ‘be’ in the space. It is easy to spill onto the terrace, but I would argue that terraces are more like rooms: not so much garden, more house. I challenge you to make other places and spaces that feel different. Your extra space may be an embroidered thread-spun tepee for the children, or a hammock for lazy days reading in the sultry summer afternoons. Consider sawn logs hunched around a glowing kadai for late autumn evenings, deck chairs in a meadow, or even one of our chic French swing seats hidden under your favourite tree.
In any case, enjoy your garden – it is an immense privilege to have one. In this instance, I choose to ignore the words of Kipling, who advised, “Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful!’ and sitting in the shade”. I counter: gardens are only made by those who appreciate them, and I invite you to do so by doing exactly that: sitting in the shade!