T H E O K A N A G A N I N S T I T U T E
TILTING AGAINST CONFORMITY SINCE 2007, AND NOT THROUGH YET.
Making Sense and Sensations : It is still possible to imagine the impossible, and make it so. As Will Durant proclaimed, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
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THE STORY SO FAR | A RUMINATION BY ROBERT MACDONALD
THE LONG PATH, THE GARDEN, THE EARTHLY DELIGHTS
This summer I have been rummaging almost daily in my small garden, adding new elements, taking some away and tidying and tending others. I have a vision of the garden I want it to eventually be, and I've spent almost five years working toward it, knowing full well that it will never be finished.
My humble garden is an urbanized homage to the variegated and breathtaking cottage gardens that I encountered on occasion during the days and weeks accumulated over a dozen youthful years of holidays, retreats and escapes walking the coast path that rings England.
I learned that many of these cottage gardens had as much to do with bees and chickens and vegetables as with wisteria and foxgloves. In the 18th century cottagers with reduced land access (as a result of the destructive enclosure laws) were encouraged to use cottage gardens to feed their families. The ornamental elements owed much to the kitchen garden of the Elizabethan dooryard and the herbs that lived in it. At first medicinal and other functional herbs predominated but they too had ornamental value, and it was hard to tell if the tall spires of hollyhock were central because of their medicinal or ornamental utility.
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” - Mark Twain
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