Finding Solace in the Garden


Last weekend my garden felt like a refuge from the horrible events of the previous week. Although we live high on the Kent Downs our house is one of few on the estate without a view to the surrounding countryside. I’ve sought to build on this sense of enclosure by planting informal hedges and climbers to screen us from our (lovely) neighbours.

Cocooned in this little piece of paradise (OK I am probably exaggerating here but that’s the dream) at the bottom of a quiet cul-de-sac it is easy to hide from the horrors of the wider world. As a Fathers’ Day treat I was allowed an undisturbed day’s gardening and couldn’t help contrasting my own happiness with the grief and pain of so many.

My own experience reminded me of the scene in Gorillas in the Mist where Dian Fossey, fleeing conflict in the Congo, finds refuge in Rosamond Carr’s flower garden. The film portrays the garden as a place where Fossey is able to find the mental and physical and strength required to continue her work. I don’t claim to be a Fossey but the weekend confirms that my own garden provides a similar space for me.

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