You don’t have to be an artist in order to enjoy the pictures in an Art Gallery and you don’t have to play an instrument to be entertained in a concert. Gardens are similar in that you do not have to be a gardener to find pleasure in a garden.
I was fortunate enough to stay with some dear cousins in North California last Autumn where we had arranged to visit the Donnell garden at Sonoma. Cousin Bert was happy to drive us there but clearly could not see the point and before we set off he asked me in his charmingly droll way “Why on earth do you want to visit a garden?”
I might add at this point that gardens in California are called ‘yards’, so, unfamiliar with this word and fearing that my desperate need to visit this great garden would not be understood. To experience a garden you needed to actually go through the garden gate and get in there. A photograph was just a mere pointer.
Needless to say the garden was more, so much more than I could have imagined. On the journey home Bert remained speechless, blown away by this most stunning of gardens.We all felt uplifted and that is what garden visiting does. I was thrilled that he now understood.