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Report From PIA – March 3

There are as many ways to design a garden as there are species of plants, and every gardener has his or her own personal style. From formal, symmetrical layouts with crisp brick paths to mingling grasses and flowers in almost-wild meadows, we each have our preferences and desires.

I love to see or walk though many types of gardens, and absolutely believe that there isn’t one right way. Yet I personally respond positively to gardens that have a mix of recycled stone, brick or concrete to offset the plants. There is something about the combination of static and growing, hard and soft, new and old, and less than perfect that pleases me.

Perhaps this is on my mind because I’m visiting the area where I spent a good portion of my youth, but where I haven’t lived for over forty years. Whenever I return I see what has changed and that which remains the same. Today I had the opportunity to spend some time with someone I went to school with, and talk about the directions our lives have taken us.

For many of us, life is a great deal like that hodgepodge stonework that I so appreciate. We take the jumble of our experiences and put them together in what order we can, working with what’s fixed and developing, combining the fresh and the almost forgotten. We recycle, cultivate, and create our individual paths and gardens.

This one from Molly Ward Gardens on Bainbridge Island, WA.

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