THE THOUGHTFUL GARDENER, WITH DESIGNER JINNY BLOM
“A feeling of security enhances the pleasure of a great horizon” writes British landscape designer Jinny Blom in her new book "The Thoughtful Gardener – an intelligent approach to garden design”, published this year by London’s Jaqui Small Press, but, she continues about a particular design she was creating in the countryside not far from the city, “I dreamt of this view from my first sighting of the property when awful trees obscured it and there was no bastion. Lady Getty and I were both born during total solar eclipses, and so I knew she would appreciate a 12 foot drop with no safety rail…..we enjoyed the purity of the result.”
In this month of another epic solar eclipse (in our neck of the woods at any rate), I thought it might be fun to speak with a person who thinks and designs from such a perspective.“Seeing is not just about the gift of sight, it is about the dawning of a greater comprehension and deeper insight into a subject. Gardening is a profound holistic experience,” writes Jinny.
"...what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe,
to think, to enjoy, to love. And I would add: to garden."
I found her to be thoughtful indeed. The new book - both lush and very readable - is a summation of her distinct process of approaching the thinking, designing, building and then liberating of a garden to its owners/gardeners. During her lifetime, she has been both a psychologist and theatrical set designer. Throughout her book, it is clear that she is widely and well read and traveled, and that she has an earthy sense of humor and rhythm. Each of these aspects comes to bear on how she approaches a garden design, which is shown to be not only thoughtful but also creative, musical and heartfelt.
Jinny embraces a wide variety of styles, from formal walled gardens to contemporary installations. The book's meat explores her own insights into the creative process she has developed while designing more that 250 gardens around the world.Towards the end of the book, Jinny concludes: “Marcus Aurelius urged us to remember when we arise in the morning to think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love. And I would add: to garden. The patient love and care that goes into a garden is a gift for life.”
And lucky for us, so is a leisurely, thoughtful, read of this lovely book.