Saturday, 17 December 2011

Some Saturday soul food: Ilse Crawford

Bonjour, mes amies! Just the quickest of posts tonight before I fall into bed to catch my beauty sleep before Miss India's 4th birthday party tomorrow afternoon. Meredy's rainbow cake has been iced and is now sitting in the fridge, swathed in its 'crumb layer' of icing, all ready for the final layer tomorrow. Mr PB is making the smartie biscuits while we listen to Sarah Blasko. Given how so many of you were moved by the photos of our front garden in my last post, I thought I'd stick with the garden theme this week for some inspiration.
In her book Home Is Where the Heart Is, the renowned British interior and product designer, Ilse Crawford, makes the following observation:
We are grounded, hardwired to enjoy being outside. 
Even an hour or so outside makes all the difference. 
Gardens heal; just looking at them helps.
This really resonates with me right now. I have been amazed by how calming and almost meditative gardening is becoming for me. It's an endless task, especially when it comes to weeding, but I'm realising that's okay. There are always jobs to be done but it's just like a metaphor for life, I guess. 

The more we tend our gardens, the more they thrive.

I find even 30 minutes of gardening in the evening, now we have these sublime summery light-filled hours at the end of the day, makes me feel like I have accomplished something and contributed to creating some beauty in our lives.

I'm also finding it a place and headspace where I feel close to my Dad as he was a keen gardener and instilled an interest in such things in me from an early age.

That's what I'm looking for right now - a calm and serene place where I feel connected to him.

I know he'd tell me the cottage garden was looking "marvellous" and give me some more pointers on how to prune my roses. 

I agree with Ilse on that point - gardening is helping me to heal, ever so slowly. 

Do you share my enjoyment of getting your hands dirty in your garden and creating something pretty and/or delicious like the tomatoes in the photo? And do you feel gardening's restorative nature? Or does it leave you cold? Jump in and share your ideas - I'm guessing that Georgie and Sarah could *possibly* be in the affirmative camp! 
PS Some Saturday Soul food will return in the New Year!


  1. Dear Jane, that sounds like the perfect connection to your Dad to me. What a lovely quote this week. I couldn't agree more about the outdoors and gardening. It has been a soothing source for me at every stage of my life. I practically lived in the garden as a child, with keen green thumb parents and grandparents. Now, I love nothing more than watching my boys experience that same satisfying joy with my Mama and Dad in the garden. I just love how beautifully you've tied this post into Ilse's quote. And you are so right, I also believe that part of the gardening process is to keep us forever learning and striving for more. Life, death, creation... it's all there. Without even realising until you mentioned it, quite a spiritual retreat in it's own way. Thanks for sharing Jane xo

  2. Ha! Yes, I'm definitely in the affirmative! Gardening is very grounding, it makes you part of something very big. Despite it being never ending I find it very relaxing at times. When I need to chill out I pull a few weeds and I always feel better. I'm glad you are enjoying it too x

  3. I love gardening. I come from a long line of excellent gardeners and farmers so it's in my genes. I love the experimental nature of it and how forgiving it is. Its a Great hobby! Happy birthday to your gorgeous little girl! Mel xx

  4. Definitely agree Jane and have a foot firmly in the gardening camp, even if at times I wish my thumb was a little greener. Especially at this time of the year when everything grows so quickly and the garden is so lush, but actually anytime I can get my hands in the dirt feels good. Hope the party is a rousing success! Cake sounds wonderful.
    Amanda xx

  5. I'm not a skilled (or even semi-skilled) gardener but I'm a big fan of the great outdoors.
    There is a lovely satisfaction in being outside and putting energy into your little patch of the world.

    It's a beautiful pleasure to have such a soothing 'happy place' literally at your doorstep. Enjoy.
    :-) xx

  6. Gardening is a balm for the soul, it's true. One of my 'things' for next year is to get in there far more often. The world is always a calmer place when your hands are full of the earth. x

  7. [Emailed from Anna at European Chic]

    Dear Jane

    I wanted to comment on your post but it didn't work...‏

    You are so right! Please do post more photos of your garden.

    I wish I had a garden in Paris, too, but city life means that your balcony becomes your little oasis.


  8. I'm so glad you found this healing place, Jane. And the closeness you feel to your dad when gardening. A well-loved and tended garden is special and should be shared. Whenever we go home, my parents spend a great deal of time with Lily picking berries, digging up (poor) worms and finding snails. Seeing their interaction - only then does the 'magic' of my parent's garden become apparent.

  9. Such a beautiful post......

    I've never been able to explain why I so desperately need my time in the Garden. I need it to stay grounded, to stay focused and to stay calm. Funny, I just started a post last night about this. I guess we're on the same wavelength at the moment:) Hope you have a wonderful week! ~ Barefoot mama

  10. Happy Birthday Indie! Merry Christmas to all of you in Tassie! I'm off to my son's wedding very soon and so will catch up again at the end of enjoy Christmas and the New Year!

  11. Both my hands [with dirt hiding beneath the nails after a morning weeding] are in the air, waving affirmation to this post - actually I fib, I'm typing but you get my drift.

    After arriving home from our Sydney Odyssey late Monday night my first inclination was to get a great big waggy, licky hug from Luke and then look longingly towards our newly fledged vege patch which was cloaked in darkness.

    Yesterday I snuck out before everyone else was awake and scooted straight to the veges - what a delight awaited me! In just one week they had grown fabulously and there were lots of lovely surprises to catch my eye. Rain & heat & great location = winners for our salad bowl this summer.

    This morning I've been checking on our other newly planted friends and am pleased to report that all have thrived in our absence. It truly is one of life's great joys to discover green leaved treasures hiding in the garden and like you, I find endeavours in the outdoors to be a truly satisfying occupation.

    Yet again you've touched a chord - hence my rambly comment.
    Biggest of happy & green thumbed hugs,
    x x

  12. Gardening is so therapeutic. I love spending time in the garden. I don't get out there as often as I'd like, but I find spending even just 5 mins a day can make a big difference in how the garden looks and how I feel. Good for the soul. Your garden is full of beauties!!

  13. I'm so delighted so many of you share my sensory and emotional delights derived from gardening. Who would have thought something so basic and simple could provide such pleasure? I had forgotten - that's why having the pixies around is great to remind me! J x

  14. I agree with this whole heartedly Jane. This afternoon, after having tried all afternoon to settle little Miss Sophie, I could feel myself feeling frazzled and stressed and so, while Grace was still napping, took my distressed little bub outdoors into our new garden corner. Paul had only just yesterday put together a little table and chairs for me and so I sat, rocking my bub in my new serene spot. It made me feel so much better, just being outdoors, picturing all the plans I had for our garden. Now I just need some time to put those plans to action. I'm so glad you feel your garden is a place where you can feel a connection to your dear Dad x

  15. Oh Amanda, I just found this gorgeous comment. I am so delighted you found some peace in your garden as well. It'a mazing how that serenity just seeps in, isn't it? As for your plans, please pace yourself, Sweetie. Life is frazzling enough for you at the moment ☺. J x


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, you gorgeous soul. You've just made my day! J x

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...