Attention to Detail in All Things

digital illustrationI’m far from being the world’s best gardener. I may have the perfect skill set as a lazy dilettante, loving the design process and having a tremendous appreciation for all of the non-laborious joys of a garden, whether it’s well tended or not. A bark-boring beetle or a sculptural skeletonized leaf can be as beautiful as any spectacular, pristine lily or a lilac’s heady bloom. A moss-choked stone path is as glorious as a graceful fountain encircled by perfect tea roses and rosemary. And I have had quite the aversion to trench digging, rock picking and weeding ever since I was old enough to be conscripted by my parents for the purpose.

But I also know that if a garden is to have any hope of continuity and flourishing in flower, it needs occasional attention to such details, at the least, from Nature’s seemingly random hand. The gusts and waterings, composting and tillage performed by her weather and her handyman crew of creatures all do their parts in keeping the landscape in beautiful form. Even better chance of thriving if I do my part, too, having noticed what details might better prosper under my attentions, however slight they might be.

I was reminded of it recently as I watched a family make their valiant attempt at getting a group portrait. Flanked by grandparents, the parents stood holding their two little boys: Dad, in back, held the eight month old and Mom, ahead, wrangled the three-year-old. No one seemed able to get the normally placid toddler in front to hold still for even one quick photo, or to understand why he was so unusually squirmy, until someone finally noticed what I could see better from my side angle: that the baby was cheerily leaning forward at intervals and yanking his big brother’s hair. Detail noticed, problem solved. Had that adorable little scalawag been able to keep up the practice, I have little doubt there would’ve been need, eventually, for an expulsion from that particular little Eden.

I, meanwhile, must try to keep after my own gardens, the real and the metaphorical, and make sure the little buzzing creatures and weeds don’t get too far out of illustration

9 thoughts on “Attention to Detail in All Things

  1. Well, literally speaking, our yard did get out of hand when Copper moved in…we adopted him and he had to get used to his new home and family. So…in the meantime, he did a little destruction. You’ve heard of Jaws, right? 😉 Well, things are better now and I do agree about tending our own gardens, whether real or metaphorical. Beautiful post and gorgeous art, Kathryn! xo

  2. I am a much better admirer than a gardener. I manage to demolish everything without much effort and so I get me gone and let nature do her thing. Although I would love to grow a wild English garden. *sigh*
    If your garden is like your drawings, it promises to be beautiful! Happy gardening, Kathryn!

    • The true beauty of English cottage gardening, as I practiced in mine back in Washington in the day, was that the rampant spread and density of the plantings both crowded out and covered over lots of weeds and other interlopers. Gloriously messy fun! But I’m much older and lazier and stingier now than I was then, so I’m very happy to find cheaper and less effortful ways to get my garden jollies—mostly, by visiting *others’* gardens!!!
      Hope you have a lovely weekend, my sweet!

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