Today is the funeral of Elspeth Thompson.  In her writings she painted a wonderful picture of her life; of a gardener's life as it could be, which makes it all the more difficult to bear the fact that all was not harmony and joy for her, as she made it seem for us.

It has made me think about why we write articles, share blogs and even create beautiful gardens.  It seems to me that people who see beauty acutely tend to see and feel pain sharply too. By seeking the beautiful and sharing it we share some of the comfort and joy which we find there. By surrounding ourselves with lovely living things it makes the harder facts of life easier to bear, it puts small disappointments in context and allows us time to reflect on the larger picture. By giving a little happiness we are happier ourselves.

Much as we try to create beauty and harmony though all gardeners know that they cannot control all things.  I take a little comfort from that too, allowing my usual trail of unfinished projects and general chaos to gently remind me that perfection is unattainable. 

No photo of my own garden could do such an inspiring person justice, so in memory of Elspeth's timeless qualities here are two images of a landscape which remind me that they are made by another hand.


  1. Hello Marian
    Some years ago I read a collection of Elspeth Thompson's writings on gardening and remember enjoying it immensely. I had my own urban garden at the time, and could relate to her observations and experiences in tending a London plot, if I recall correctly.
    (Another storm is due today, very late in the season for Northern California. I'm hoping Spring in Britain is an improvement on 2009.)

  2. Thank you Alice - she did have a wonderful way of writing. It is too too sad, but like some of the best flowers we were lucky to have had her for a while.


Thank you for taking the time to comment!