The boiling hot Tuesday of my second week off in August I set foot in a garden. (Not mine. I set sprinklers as soon as I got home but avoided mine until sometime the beginning of September.) I have considered Layanee a good friend for the last 3 years at least but still hadn’t visited her garden – all the way over yonder in Foster, RI. By Rudeyelin standids, Layanee’s garden is days away from mine. In actual fact it took an hour and 15 to get there. Just in case though, I brought my mom because she likes road trips – and gardens – and getting “lost” on the gray roads.
Despite Layanee’s demurrals and apologies her garden was actually still lush and colorful – and full of puppy. It just doesn’t get more inspiring than that. I am disappointed in my pictures but I didn’t even really want to take any because it was such a treat to experience it for reals. Pictures don’t do it justice anyway. Even after seeing years’ worth of Layanee’s pictures from every angle in every season, I had no real conception about the lay of the land. – There’s simply no way to find your bearings in a photo unless you’ve actually been there. I realized – and I feel a little silly to say this because I should always be keenly aware of it – that feeling grounded and present is an enormous part of the pleasure of seeing a garden. Ledge and Gardens was both more intimate in parts and more spacious in parts than I imagined and the vignettes and combinations much more interesting and beautiful for being held within the whole.
I liked my own garden better after the roadtrip – I’m not really sure why since it’s cramped and wonky and young in any kind of direct comparison. Then again there is no comparison, and no competition in gardening. It’s apples and orangutans. There’s only infectious enthusiasm – even when we’re all hot and exhausted and kind of over it.