In Walden, Henry David Thoreau’s 1850’s classic, he makes the statement “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation”. And while Thoreau is referring to the hopes and dreams of life, the quote seems just as pertinent to those dreams we have for our gardens.
While I have hopes and dreams for this current garden I have far grander plans for my garden of the future. It holds an eager sense of expectation that forces me not to abandon it but instead to nurture and embrace it.
The dream is bigger than 670sq.m and I’m not sure of its exact dimensions but I do know that it’s large enough that neighbours can’t be seen without some travel. It’s also big enough to hold groves of Karri, Jarrah and Tuart trees where a conventional plot would struggle to hold just one of these. A babbling brook that trickles through the valley and cascades over a delicious waterfall culminating in a dammed pool also rates high on the list of needs wants. It is a dream, after all.
Horses for trail rides with the ankle-biters. Cows for milk and steers for prime rib. Free-ranging chickens, geese and ducks. The odd sheep and a handful of goats and maybe even a working pig. Self-sufficiency would be the goal here where nothing is bought onto the property.
Which means that my dream for an aquaponics set-up would also become a reality. Fresh barramundi, bream and trout (ready for the smokehouse – which is obviously hidden behind the house and down the track to the right) would possess the upper levels of the tank while fresh-water mussels, yabbies and marron own the bottom. And the veggies – never in short supply as they feed from the nutrient rich ammonia run-off.
Flowers? In copious supply from the indigenous species that I planted years ago. Acacias, grevilleas, proteas, one or two callistemons and banks of melaleuca and waxes. There would be no point adding bird feeders for everything they desire is replenished naturally.
And the landcape? A version of tweaking nature that exudes its own resplendent qualities but is harnessed enough to be practical and yet subtly ostentatious. Dry stone walls bordering paths that escape out of view may be the bane of many back problems and toiling in the sun but the result – pulchritudinous.
My present-day garden is a “guinea pig” version of my dream. Whatever works here should – ‘touch wood’ – work on a grander scale and so my adventure here mimics the dream I hope to embrace in the future.
I’d love to hear your dreams and aspirations and even of those you’ve already realised. I’m especially interested in those from gardeners who may already be in their late 50’s and 60’s who still have a dream for their garden they haven’t quenched yet continue to hope see come to fruition.