Go wild in backyard to nurture growth
GARDENS don’t always have to be perfect.
They can be a little wild, wilful and disobedient, landscape designer and author Michael Cooke says.
Cooke shares this philosophy on design in his new book Disobedient Gardens (Landscapes of contrast and contradiction).
“I prefer gardens that are allowed to show their personality and inner spirit,’’ Cooke says.
“I consider a wayward tendril OK, or appreciate a branch that overhangs a path and a faded bloom that’s allowed to go to seed.
“Too many contemporary gardens are straight and uptight.”
In Disobedient Gardens, Cooke showcases five gardens, including his own, which are illustrated by the beautiful photographs taken by co-author Brigid Arnott.
Each of the gardens features elements of wildness combined with a degree of order. The gardens may be magnificent, but they all have an organic quality, imperfection and a degree of “disobedience’ that makes them distinctive and compelling.
Cooke says gardens should be allowed to grow and evolve in the same way as relationships do.
“To begin with it’s usually superficial — all first impressions and appearance,” he says.
“However, over time, if a garden is nurtured it matures and develops character, personality and depth … a great garden has layers of interest.’’
The message behind his second book (his first book was called Time in the Garden) is to encourage people to see their garden less as hard work and more as a place of enjoyment.
“And learn patience — gardens take time.’’
Gardens should be allowed to be a little disobedient says author Michael Cooke. Image:
Disobedient Gardens (Murdoch Books) RRP $59.99.