Gardens for Living



Gardens have always been part of my life.

Some small but perfectly formed
where every minute of labour
makes a difference.
Perfumed glory coloured my days.

Some huge, where a day of labour
is unnoticeable
and a fortnight away from home
produces a jungle.

Grass to feed two horses,
fruit and vegetables enough
to feed a growing family.

Some new, young plants and trees
an unfulfilled promise of beauty,
left too soon, anticipation blighted.

Age and infirmity dictate
a garden in pots around a patio,
with flowers in season purchased,
not grown by me from scratch.

A few herbs for the pot
scanty in unsatisfactory ceramic.

pot garden 2 at le Clos des Champs 2.8.13

Nowadays, nearby fields, hedgerows,
trees and sky
provide my garden.

maize harvest finished


Written for Poetic Bloomings, in the Garden prompt



All poetry, prose and pictures posted here, except where otherwise stated, is my own, and may only be used elsewhere with my expressed permission. Please don't be inhibited from correcting my bloopers and making suggestions: Most of what I post here is instant, ill-considered and off-the-cuff, in serious need of editing.
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19 Responses to Gardens for Living

  1. poetrypea says:

    I couldn’t be without my garden, although I can imagine a large terrace covered by high lipped pots filled with scented flowers being my future


  2. 1sojournal says:

    Your words could have been about my own experience. When I first started writing poetry, I wrote about my mother and her neighbors in the apartment complex she lived in then. I called them “kitchen farmers” because they gardened in pots. Now I live in that same complex and have become what I defined all those years ago. Circles within circles. Thank you for all the memories and images your words brought to mind,



  3. I should confess that though all the pictures were taken by me, the top photo is of a gifted gardening friend’s plot, not mine.


  4. Old Egg says:

    How right this is. The realization that you cannot manage the large garden anymore and the frustration of growing things in pots (that seem to moan a lot!). Thank heavens we can still commune with nature.


  5. Gardens, for me, are therapy of sorts. Yes, it gets to a point where we can’t do as much as we used to. But container planting is fun, too!


  6. poetryshack says:

    Viv, I didnt know you had such a green thumb! Nice pictures, actual and poetic.


  7. colonialist says:

    Blooming poetic, that is!
    ‘Borrowed’ landscape is often the best. It is such a pity that modern security worries often cause one to hem oneself in from it.


  8. Your gardens have always been beautiful, Viv. I love that you share that part of yourself, and that you are still growing things in containers. We have herbs in pots indoors all year. Gardening is a love I share with you. Thanks for making the world a bit greener.


  9. Misky says:

    My mother moved from a house with 5-acres to a small flat (supervised living, they call it) with no direct access outside. No patio; just windows. She’s like a horse ready to bolt the stable doors. During the summer she weeds and plants in the complex’s borders, and the management gave her freedom to do as she wants with it. I think it keeps her sane. It certainly keeps her happy.

    p.s. The last photo of a beauty.


  10. Yes, the garden does give us away!


  11. drpkp says:

    Ahhh the garden of life itself … Beautiful poem 🙂


  12. barbara_y says:

    I like your environs.
    Too bad we can’t do this aging thing in steps of our own devising. Give up field hockey, first; then maybe eating ice cream by the gallon. Downsizing and ailing. That clipped too many wingfeathers at one time.


  13. magicalmysticalteacher says:

    I know how gardens become smaller with the aging of the gardener. When I was young, I had a garden that encompassed something approaching two acres. Now? A tiny plot in the backyard. **sigh**

    A Wordle Whiff of Christmas


  14. Times change, needs change, it is why we potter about as we get older.


  15. These two comments refer to the poem Threnody, below. It had unaccountably disappeared from the blog and I have re-posted it but couldn’t move the comments. WordPress is cranky this morning, refusing to be consistent in font and type-size..


  16. Irene says:

    That last line sweetens death indeed.


  17. a lovely evolving. I confess I had to look up the word threnody!


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