“It has great capabilities, my lord, great capabilities”

 
Tractie on Google Maps

Tractie on Google Maps

Tractie on Google Maps

This is what Traktie looked like when the Google satellites had a peek. If you hovered above it now, it would look a lot greener! I like the way the plant and animal world take over the hard surfaces we humans create  the moment our back is turned. And very often even when we are looking, as any gardener can tell you. I sometimes amuse myself visualising what  my immediate surroundings  would look like in 10 years if all of us just upped and left. Having once rescued a garden in the nick of time, I have no problems visualising a tangled web of brambles, nettles, seedlings of maple and elderberry and suchlike covering the land. I can even feel them, smell them, feel this itch in my fingers to weed them out and restore order – the garden – that is hidden underneath them. “Writing and gardening, these two ways of rendering the world in rows, have a great deal in common” (Michael Pollan in ‘Second Nature’). Will have to keep myself in check or else I will spend my time gardening instead of doing research. Question: why not do both at the same time? Note: read Michael Pollan again on the question of interfering with nature to make a garden.

Here is one of my favourite garden quotes -also quite applicable to this Tractie situation. “It has great capabilities, my lord, great capabilities” It is the favourite saying of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, an english landscape architect of the 18th century. He must have voiced this thought a lot when talking to his aristocratic patrons, for they gave him this nickname. Mr Brown designed over 170 parks, making them into ‘natural’ landscapes of great beauty and simplicity.

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