18 July 2009
In Search of a Quiet Garden
Here is a scene from Monet's garden in Giverny, France. I took the picture during my May visit in the year 2000. When looking at a Monet painting, it is easy to think of the scene as being tranquil, but the reality for the modern tourist is that Monet's garden is often a very noisy and crowded place, especially as there is a busy road going between the two sections.
I have visited many gardens around the world and have found that very few can be considered as quiet, especially those that are open to the general public or are near a major road. Many require the use of noisy machinery in their maintenance, too.
Do you know of a quiet garden that does not require the input of motors to keep it beautiful? Is it away from other audible intrusions. Is its air clean?
When I visited the Eden Project in Cornwall, England in 2005, my visit was ruined by the noisy engines and smell of diesel fumes from the so-called tractor "land train" (it does not seem to me to be an environmentally-friendly way to travel). I experience nausea whenever I smell diesel. Nausea combined with the sound of engines roaring is not a very peaceful experience!
When I go into my own lawnless garden, I sometimes feel as if someone nearby has been waiting to start up a lawnmower just as I want to enjoy some peace outdoors. One day I hope to develop a beautiful, low-maintenance, organic, productive, peaceful garden somewhere that will be without intrusive sights, sounds or smells. It will be for the benefit of quiet people, too, but is a peaceful neighbourhood something that can be guaranteed?