a few things organised, but better left alone?

July 29, 2010

S. very kindly brought these round the other evening. I rearranged them in pairs (control, control!) as above, but  prefer them visually as she had set them out, as below . . .

. . . maybe S. had put them in their nests in the box chronologically as she gathered them ? I started to think a little about my action of re arranging the objects.  I don’t think I can blame it on the symmetry and asymmetry that I have to consider all the time workwise so, to test out these thoughts I looked around the close environment . . . . 

. . . very necessary pencils, held in perspex Muji boxes in compartments. Looks organised but it isn’t really. It’s almost impossible to select degrees of tone and, anyway, to select a tone from a Faber Castell pencil as against a Derwent pencil as against Karisma as against Caran D’Ache is all quite meaningless – individually they make differing marks with differing intensities. The group of pencils fall at differing angles too – they have a life of their own.

The mantel piece that receives very little attention. Items are set there and then forgotten about – maybe dusted around occasionally – until it gets too cluttered to hold anything more. Certain areas and items are sacrosanct – a drawing by Charlotte ( Judith and Holofernes), a postcard from Susie (the cat), a Christmas card from W + D (the lips) and a Mothers Day card ( the elephant)  from C. and the tiny jug of sweet peas. The rest will change as soon as more cards come through the door plus the odd invitation. 

A. has been to Dixter (don’t forget the plant fair here, in October, with many good small specialist  nurseries) this week and showed me her photos – some of these sparked a connection . . .

. . . here in the Yew topiary area – true ‘order and chaos’ with the control and static quality of the clipped yew forms and the randomness of the flowering Cotinus above  the natural ground layer of native flowering meadow mix. The cotinus billow out spreading their voluptuous clouds of inflorescence wherever in total abandonment.  Most wondrous.

Even more rampagious down near the pond, below the meadow, is the stand of Inula. Beautifully uncrontrollable – plant a very few and watch them go – and leave them alone!

More discreet but as amazing is Salpiglossis , from Southern Chile and a Lloyd favourite – grown from seed, in mixed colours, so never quite sure which, or what, will break forth here every summer. The growth is quite straggly  . . .

 . . . and not at all anything to write home about but, when the single flowers happen, it’s a day of rejoicing and total appreciation. William Morris and Pugin must have known about these beauties . .

So my message to myself is to  leave it well alone, relax and let it all waft over; lie back  and enjoy and breathe it in and remember!

“Nature” is what we see—
The Hill—the Afternoon—
Squirrel—Eclipse—the Bumble bee—
Nay—Nature is Heaven—
Nature is what we hear—
The Bobolink—the Sea—
Thunder—the Cricket—
Nay—Nature is Harmony—
Nature is what we know—
Yet have no art to say—
So impotent Our Wisdom is
To her Simplicity.  Nature is What We See – Emily Dickinson

2 Responses to “a few things organised, but better left alone?”

  1. anny evason Says:

    lovely post. The salpiglossis always look like something out of Owen Jones’ Grammar of Ornament. I don’t know when they were introduced but they do evoke the colour and form of high Victorian decoration.


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