It all started in Australia by growing tomatoes and it ended by growing Eucalyptus trees. What now follows is the gardening story with mainly photo’s, some good some not so good as i have no scanner. Pleas take the time to read it all and ………………..
The very first garden was in Australia. De eerste tuin:
An old man living in the bush taught me, how to garden with nature, by using cups of tea for your tomatoes and it worked wonders ever since. That was 33 years ago.
From here back to Holland with a garden by the house boat Nova Cura. It was a part of a house boat community of 13 old Dutch barges . The land is now maintained as a small natural habitat.
De tuin naast de Nova Cura een oude Boltjalk aan de Laars een woonschepen gemeenschap.
It kept on growing when the next garden was on the reclaimed land on the Noord-Oost-Polder. Where cultivated and wild came more and more together.
De tuin in Luttelgeest aan de Lindeweg.
The first real big garden of 1/2 acre at Rhodiad Y Brenin in Wales flowing from New South Wales to Old South Wales. It was here i started an organic box-scheme growing vegetables and herbs. The name was “The Pumpkin Shed”.
A new place a new learning as the climate is harsh here so close to the coast.
De eerste grote tuin een echte boeren tuin met varken en kippen en ganzen en zelfs een eend. Hier begon ik de Pumpkin Shed.
Next to the field came the Walled Garden in Solva it was a mesh it was a challenge. Here the creative gardening started after reading the book of Derek Jarman garden. The driftwood i collected from the near beaches have an aim now, a place to be.
It was a famous garden with many visitors and publications even appeared on the TV. It was an experience cooking pumpkin soup in the garden for the TV program Angela Grey.
In the walled garden i organised outdoor art exhibitions and saw gardening more and more as an art not as an outdoor production field. I lived in the Tipi for several months.
After 5 years at the Walled Garden the lease came to an end and the beginning of the land at Clegyr Boia. The ideas for the land were many but one field was going to be a wild art-garden, Land Art. It was intensively farmed and more and less dead.
The first name for the garden was ‘Field of Sticks’, as the locals used to call it, as that is all you could see at first many and many pieces of driftwood marking the different parts.
Some driftwood is a piece of art in themselves and all people, big and small, see something different in the pattern of the stick. What you see is not what i see and that is ok.
During a trip i came, by accident across a book Straw Dogs by John Gray, which made me see the gardening in a very different light. The link shows some quotes out of the book.
I moved onto the land with a caravan and a shed and many plants and tools from the Walled Garden. The aim was to become one with the land on which i pondered, no TV, no newspapers, no magazines, no radio. A large part of the land was going to be a present back to nature, a small nature reserve next to a nature reserve. Trees they said plant trees so i did but some said oooh nooo not trees it must stay open land and others said ooh noo not heather it must stay farm land. Well, in the end it became a bit of all of it and a little more.
In 2006 the land stood host to an international land art project “The Journey Through 2 Cultures” a collaboration between Welsh artist and Australian Aboriginal artists. We even danced the land showing how both cultures were made to shut up in certain way during the above part of the dance. We had more than a 1000 visitors and it placed the ideas around the land in many peoples mind.
The connection with Australia, where it all began, stayed strong.
Now on a personal note. I gave the land all my strength and worked hard, too hard for my ability. For 3 years the land had to look after herself with a little help from some ponies and a watchful eye from me.
In 2009 i went with an other artist back to the Walled Garden to make it into an outdoor art space. Self seeded trees became art material, the garden herself became art. The garden was covered in a spiderweb of Bindweed but underneath were still many plants and trees i did plant years ago. A pond was made and orchard planted.
It was the venue for the Land Art Poetry Trail.
However the planning in this country made it impossible for us to continue here and we went back to the land at Clegyr Boia.
New work was added with poetry and land art as theme.
Old work was altered and added on. The trees grew bigger and bigger, birds came nesting, snakes hide in the grass, lizards, frogs, toads and newts visit the pond, badger strolled along at night, the fox hunt the rabbits and life came back.
In 2011 i wrote this poem:
tired of roots,
tired of thorns,
tired of every day fight
of the growing
The need to stop
while it never stops
The need to finish as else it becomes
a shallow drain of insignificant meaning
The need to complete
or else it will become an escape from respect
the indifference of living
The need to round of
to create the
the honesty of conclusion
or else it becomes the horror of
withdrawal into old age
It is voorbye bey bey Unicorn
it is voorbey it is
symbol of my work
I need to go with an achievement
I become so flimsy,
I need to go
it is voorbey
my tears will stay
So a year later, after giving it a last try to make it happen, I left and with me came many good memories. As with all the other gardens and art it is now in the hand of others who will do what they want to do with it.
I now move on to something more within my abilities as my strength will not come back no matter how hard i try and no matter how much i want it. It is VoorBey it is over.
An other book stands at this new chapter of my work The Western Land by William Burroughs. One sentence is written on my wall to remind me day after day.
you see and
NOT what others want to see
How i will do it is not clear yet as I am learning new skills but one thing is for sure somehow stones and sticks will be a part of it, small is beautiful. The beach is my haven of escape this time. You can read more about the progress on my new blog Roos Zwart the synonym for mAgdA the land artist as she now moves more and more towards writing.
However plants will stay a part of my life even just small scale
And with this my dear readers i leave this blog all behind.