WEP Gardens ChallengeThe WEP (Write, Edit, Publish) Challenge so generously hosted by Denise Covey and Yolanda Renee is back.
This month the focus is on gardens. We are asked to create something about them - and can do so through fiction, non-fiction, photography... Which leaves it wide open.
If you visit here and click on any names with a DL next to them you will be taken to some wonderful pieces.
This stunning badge was one of two created by Olga Godim. This one looks just like the garden I try and create from the jungle at home.
Gardens are one of my obsessions. I pour more energy, time and money than I have into mine. I bleed for it (and in it) and sweat over it. And drool over other people's gardens. So this challenge should be right up my street. Except it wasn't. As is not uncommon, my mind took me to some strange places.
The Garden of my Mind.
An unreliable mind map. Time? Direction? Season? Terrain? Climate? All subject to change. With little or no warning. It is a crowded space, and rarely completely safe. Protective clothing is mandatory (and rarely worn). Gloves, hard hat and closed footwear should be worn at all times. And will sometimes be inadequate.
There is beauty and ugliness, birth and death, growth and decay. At some times and in some places they co-exist. At other times there are bitter supremacy battles.
A mixture of organic remains, clay and granite particles, sown with an occasional diamond is laid down as soil. It is rich, uneven and multi-coloured. Friable and deep or barely concealing jagged edges. Sometimes almost black, at other times golden or rainbow hued and sparkle laden. Experience makes a fine compost. My blood, sweat and tears fertilise the ground when love and laughter are in short supply.
Cherished memories, hoarded hope, shards of beauty, husks of the might have been, forgotten dreams and regrets form a thick, thick mulch. Negative thinking worms aerate it.
Rainbows, stars, the moon (in all her phases) and the sun share the sky.
There are (relatively) ordered areas and largely unexplored Wild Woods. There are sunny glades, dark dank corners, wastelands and areas lying fallow.
The beds are crowded, and the borders largely unmarked. Some plants are carefully chosen and nurtured. They are fragile and may or may not survive. Some seeds arrive on the back of a book, a smile or other pieces of beauty. Torpedos of media spin explode others into the garden. There are wind-blown volunteers (sometimes weeds and sometimes precious) and some which have been planted by people who have been allowed (or have taken) time in my head. This last category are slow-growing plants, deep rooted and resilient. And often poisonous. The sticky seeds of forget-me-nots take root everywhere. Welcome or not.
In an open sunny clearing, the roses of confidence thrive, jostling for space with dancing daffodils and elegant lilies hinting at sophistication. Battalions of tulips salute the sun in colours begged, borrowed and stolen from the rainbows. Ripe and fleshy orchids flaunt their sensuality cheek by jowl with frigid snowdrops. Knowledge vines climb slowly up walls. Nostalgic granny's bonnets nod in the breeze.
In that same crowded bed the roses are covered with the black spot of inadequacy and snap dragons drip unkindness and malevolence from their pretty mouths. Poppies wither and fade. Spikes of good intentions emerge from the ground, are neglected and fail to set seed. Lies and half truths bloom and flourish. A leaf litter of chaos and confusion is thick and slippery underfoot. The pansies of paranoia chatter incessantly. Sanity and its hybrid serenity are shallow rooted and wither under the onslaught. Bickering, niggling nettles run rampant.
Shy violets of hope echo the stars on grassy knolls. A precious few will take wings and fly but most are smothered by disillusion and despair, which ripen in hours and spread faster than thought.
Shoals of ideas dart through clear, fast moving water. Most escape but some are caught and farmed.
Fat tubers of resentment are fed by sullenly bubbling fetid and greasy pools.
The tide rushes in, leaving giant piles of rank smelling grey-green depression at the high water mark.
The tide rushes out, leaving clean sands to write upon.
Trees offer wisdom, support and comfort.
It is not an idle space. Activity bees hum down synapses. Weeding, pruning, planting, nurturing. Staking (through black hearts or for support). Ripping out entire beds of misplaced knowledge. Eradicating dark thoughts and growth. Exploration parties. Building paths and shelters. Cutting back wayward growth. Planning for the gardens to come.
The work is never done.
Which is true of all gardens.
Full Critique Acceptable.
Full Critique Acceptable.