THE MODERN MINT BLOG
The Silence of Plants
By Wislawa Szymborska
(Translated by Joanna Trzeciak)
A one-sided relationship is developing quite well between you and me.
I know what a leaf, petal, kernel, cone, and stem are, and I know what happens to you in April and December.
Though my curiosity is unrequited,
I gladly stoop for some of you,
and for others I crane my neck.
I have names for you:
maple, burdock, liverwort,
heather, juniper, mistletoe, and forget-me-not;
but you have none for me.
After all, we share a common journey.
When traveling together, it’s normal to talk,
exchanging remarks, say, about the weather,
or about the stations flashing past.
We wouldn’t run out of topics
for so much connects us.
The same star keeps us in reach.
We cast shadows according to the same laws.
Both of us at least try to know something,
each in our own way,
and even in what we don’t know
there lies a resemblance.
Just ask and I will explain as best I can:
what it is to see through my eyes,
why my heart beats,
and how come my body is unrooted.
But how does someone answer questions
which have never been posed,
and when, on top of that
the one who would answer
is such an utter nobody to you?
meadows, and rushes…
everything I say to you is a monologue,
and it is not you who’s listening.
A conversation with you is necessary
urgent in a hurried life
and postponed for never.
One of our favourite writers – she would have been 90 today.
The Silence of Plants is a lovely poem…
“so much connects us. The same star keeps us in reach. We cast shadows according to the same laws…”
Just how great is that?
Build a relationship with your garden. It makes you a better gardener.
Making a new topiary out of the large, dull facade of a Taxus blob… My work was to change it up from a ‘jelly drop’ shape and give it texture, open it out and let the light through, and make it a sculptural feature in the background of the garden in summer… yet a major part of the garden in winter. A few more years before it becomes something special, but there was far more leaf and growth inside the plant than I thought and so it will not take too long for it to gain in character and become …
Two weeks ago I was invited to teach topiary at the garden of Griselda Kerr, the author of The Apprehensive Gardener. I love teaching and sharing skills, but I was placed on the spot in the afternoon and asked to show how I would make a new topiary from an existing shrub. So below is a speeded-up video of me creating a cloud-pruned topiary from an old boxwood tree. I particularly love the ending when the class get involved….! See the video here. One hour was all it took, and though it needed a little tidying-up, it was made by …
Charlotte Molesworth, my topiary mentor, and I are running our popular topiary workshop again in 2022. You can email me for details – or go here for information, your ticket and to find out about dates. Book A Spot On A Topiary Workshop, September 2022