The forest garden: it’s about time
It’s about time forest gardening reached a wider audience. Nevertheless, a garden is also about time; a seasonal, cyclical time. Herein lies some temporal whimsy…
What a lovely 😊 idea, instead of a traditional Christmas card, a friend from the Antipodes has spent me a mini Calendar of beautiful Australia Wildflowers @australian @AusHCUK #wildflowers pic.twitter.com/iYyTDoL7iO— Wayne Amiel (@AmielWayne) December 20, 2018
I was inspired to make a forest garden calendar, although rather predictably this hasn’t happened in time for 2019. I thought it would be fun to ask for forest garden photo contributions, and then crowdfund the production of the calendars (a single calendar costs about £15 each from someone like VistaPrint).
And then my eye was caught by the one line a day, five year memory book. This is such a simple and elegant idea—one day, repeated across five years. So when you write your entry, you have instant recall across the years. I think this would be ideal for gardeners, noting the small details such as flowering times, extreme weather events, notable achievements. As you may have noticed, I keep a web log but I find it hard to navigate back through the years.
And then, whilst gardening I took to thinking. (This happens a lot.) How about a single, composite photo of the forest garden year?
That doesn’t really work for me, the months don’t read well vertically. So, how about an online 5 year photo memory diary? Each day you enter a new photo, you’re shown the photo that you published one, two, three years ago.
Ah, but time, particularly in the garden, has a seasonally cyclical nature. Time in a circle, revisiting the same but different places known as months.
The trouble with this is that 16:9 ratio photos just don’t sit well in a 1/12th slice of pie. Also, how do you signify the passing of time over the years? I feel a spiral coming on, a mobius strip-like spiral, revisiting the same but different places.
The point is that just a simple idea, like the 5 year memory book, can dramatically alter how you view and remember your garden. Time is not an arrow but a spiral, and there is so much more scope than just the linear representations of “traditional” digital photo albums.