DETACHED SENTENCES ON GARDENING (Ian Hamilton Finlay)
Installing is the hard toil of garden making, placing is its pleasure.
Superior gardens are composed of Glooms and Solitudes and not of plants and trees.
A liberal’s compost heap is his castle.
Solitude in gardens is an aspect of scale.
Certain gardens are described as retreats when they are really attacks.
Ecology is Nature-Philosophy secularised.
Gardening activity is of five kinds, namely, sowing, planting, fixing, placing, maintaining. In so far as gardening is an Art, all these may be taken under the one head, composing.
Better than truth to materials is truth to intelligence.
The inscription seems out of place in the modern garden. It jars on our secularism by suggesting the hierarchies of the word.
Brown made water and lawns (&c.) Palladian elements, as much as Lord Burlington did, his columns and porticos.
Brown made water appear as Water, and lawn as Lawn.
The gardens of Kent and Brown were mistakenly referred to the Chinese aesthetic, just as today’s thoughtful gardens are considered to be Japanese. ‘Japanese garden’ has come to signify no more than ‘art garden’. The contemporary ‘sculpture park’ is not – and is not considered to be – an art garden, but an art gallery out-of-doors. It is a parody of the classical garden native to the West.
The main division of gardens is into art gardens and botanical gardens. Compared to this division all the others – ‘The Garden as Music’, ‘The Garden as a Poem’ - & etc. – are superficial.
A bench, in our modern gardens, is a thing to be sat upon; in Shenstone’s Leasowes it was a thing to be read.
As public sex was embarrassing to the Victorians, public classicism is to us.
Composition is a forgotten Art.
Artificial gardens – as Lamb describes them – now strike us as not at all artificial, since they have been made ‘natural’ by time.
there is no space except space between things, inside things, or outside things. This is why space is the relationship between bodies.
“I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
-Frank Herbert, Dune (Dune #1)
In my experience, there are really two things that lead to happiness and everything else is mostly noise. The two things are contribution and abundance.
Contribution: If you can align your life with where you have the talent to make a large, meaningful, and real contribution to the world, your circle, or your family, then you can be very happy. Wealth and improving the lives of others are tied together.
Abundance: being positive-sum. An easy way to think of abundance is that it's the anti-hater/anti-jealous mindset. If you believe there is plenty in the world for everyone and you are always happy to see people who contribute succeed, then you become part of "team contribution."