Pied Beauty

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

There's Landscaping, Then There's Gardening

I have been reading about the Garden Walk in Buffalo, New York.  And it just dawned on me that here in my deed-restricted, planned community, I could never do the sort of creative, inventive gardening that you see in Buffalo.  Why not?  The Homeowner's Association would never allow it.  Let's just put aside for a moment their objection to thousands of visitors.  Our Association could never tolerate the creativity.

Here, we're all about landscaping.  But gardening?  Not so much.  The goal appears to be to maintain the look of the original "builder" landscaping, which is about as inventive as the gardening at the local Holiday Inn.  So we can have dwarf yaupons pruned into little gumdrops.  We can have Japanese ligustrum, overgrown into trees, smashed against the front of the house.  We can have neatly manicured carpets of thirsty St. Augustinegrass, as green as the Emerald City.  But don't even think about xeriscape. Asian gardens. Native gardens. Meadow grasses. Organic edible gardens. Cutting flower gardens. Woodland gardens. Contemplation gardens. Gardens for children. Gardens for the differently-abled. Water gardens. English gardens.  Mind that you don't somehow inject personality into your front yard space! 

I know, I know.  I've memorized the usual rebuttal.  It's all about "preserving property values."  But I imagine the Garden Walk in Buffalo has actually improved not only property values but community values, too.

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