I grew up in apartments and thus when I purchased my first house, I had no experience in gardening. Furthermore, I had no true inclinations or any kind of emotional or practical association with a garden, not even plants. It was my mom and my sister who had the green thumb, not me. All I recall from my childhood was my mother tending to the few potted plants we had at home, changing the dirt in the spring on our balcony or patio.
My parents did live for a few years in a townhouse with a tiny backyard, which they slowly transformed into a tranquil hideaway. By that time I no longer lived at home and thus could follow the progress in growth and development every time I came to visit.
Therefore fueled by my parents enthusiasm, the two terraces of my former home became a play ground for me in terms of my gardening experimenting.
I can in no way claim to be an experienced or skillful gardener, a far cry from that I must admit. The limited knowledge I posses today was born mostly out of my mistakes. If anything, I am a perceptive gardener - I go with my feelings and intuition. Additionally I follow one simple advice I heard once spoken by an expert on a garden television show; give a plant food, water and sun - or no sun, depending on its natural habitat. Indeed in time I realized that is really all one needs to know. Taken together with a joy, interest and genuine love for plant life, anyone can tend to a garden and make it flourish and prosper.
The garden of my dreams is a wild and untamed one, almost a secret garden. A lush and secluded spot, which when entered feels enchanted. I am not a fan of meticulously maintained flowerbeds and trimmed bushes. To me the most beautiful is that which gets to grow free and unrestricted, creating tranquil oases, hidden from view, scented by natural perfumes. One day perhaps I will have my dream come true - until then I tend to the garden of my reality. And without any doubt, it is the only real asset of our old house.
Despite the fact that my father in law is an avid and extremely skillful gardener, my husband has no interest whatsoever in plants. To him gardening is just a bunch of boring chores, such as mowing the lawn and trimming the hedge. Thus when I moved in with him, I got the freedom and privilege to do whatever I pleased when it came to our yard.
To transform a neglected place to a lovely garden takes years and we might not even live here by then. Still, currently the outdoors offers the best therapy and seems to be the perfect recipe to cure my temporary sadness and loneliness. There is nothing like planting something and watching it grow and thrive. I take immense joy in looking after the plants and I survey them each day, looking for small changes that might have occurred over night. It gives me such a great satisfaction when the sun is out and I can tend to all the life that seems to spire and excel outside my home.
I can sense that our garden has already been established once, I only had to revive that which was already there - a multitude of roses, lilies, hollies, hollyhocks and scented shrubs. I added a few potted plants and flower baskets to our patio and planted a few vines to transform it into a lush and tranquil spot. I am also currently experimenting with seeds, which promise to grow into scented bloom attracting butterflies. Tending to our garden this way, I leave small souvenirs for the future occupants of the
house. An imprint of my time here. Hopefully they will rejoice in the bloom I introduce just as I enjoy the the work of our predecessors.
Gardening is like exercise - it must become a way of life, or it looses it's allure and is impossible to maintain. To me though there is nothing more magical than the outdoors. Plant and animal life and natural beauty holds almost a primal affection in my perception as the connection with nature is ancient and contained within my genes. I have always found solace and affirmation in its pristine beauty and will continue to see all natural life as an endless source of miracles and enchantment.
(All images in this post are taken in our garden, June 2012)
I was born under the Tatra Mountains, to a Czech father and a Slovak mother. I grew up in Sweden and lived almost ten years in North Carolina.
More than a decade ago my line of work took me to Denmark, where I live today. My home, which I share with the man that holds my heart, lies in the northerly part of a Danish peninsula, in the proximity of endless, wide and pristine westbound sandy beaches, surrounded by the rough and untamed North Sea.
My writing is defined by reflections on my cosmopolitan past and my intriguing present. Ultimately I try to convey in words and images my personal thoughts and feelings about life itself, with all its magic, natural splendour and the beauty of simple pleasures.