"My liking for gardens to be lavish is an inherent part of my garden philosophy. I like generosity wherever I find it, whether in gardens or elsewhere. I hate to see things scrimp and scrubby. Even the smallest garden can be prodigal within its own limitations... Always exaggerate rather than stint. Masses are more effective than mingies." - Vita Sackville-West
Why I look to English gardeners for inspiration as I toil away in the harsh Australian conditions I do not know. The green, bubbling brooks and weeping willows of the stories I read as a child are not part of the natural landscape here. Instead of green and white there is grey and brown, instead of moss and mud, there are cracks in our dry clay soils. And though there is such beauty in both, I cannot help but long for the lush green.
We visited our lovely neighbour this morning and her garden was an explosion of white and green with the manchurians, may bushes and banksia roses all in full bloom. It reminded me of Vita Sackville-West's glorious White Garden at Sissinghurst with it's restrained palate of grey, green and white.
It really is amazing what you can do with water here. As the kids ran around on the grass and we chatted away on the verandah it felt like I was sitting in one of those Wind in the Willows gardens from my mind with only glimpses of the brown paddocks in the distance.
I can imagine being older and wiser and embracing the sparseness of the landscape here with only what can survive without watering in the garden, but for now I want to be surrounded by green and white and masses over mingies.