The Ancient Mariner was dying of thirst. Today, the garden is submerged in parts as we have had so much rain. And yet, curiously, my mind turns to different ways in which water can bring emotions into the garden. At the bottom of our garden is a ruisseau, an ancient small canal which used to bring water from our river, the Adour, into the pasturelands and fields surrounding the old village. Never cultivated, the ruisseau was seen as purely functional, to be cleared of vegetation periodically to bring water to where it was needed.
Water brings different qualities and arouses different emotions, whether flowing or still.
Right now, outside, the ruisseau looks more like liquid mud. But in the spring and summer, with lazy light playing on it, it will look like liquid gold at times. But, gradually, whilst not interrupting the main function as a watercourse, I am planting so that we can both reach right down to the ruisseau, and also, screen ourselves from the maize field beyond. A couple of Amelanchier ‘Obelisk’ will go in as punctation points, and an increased screening of Cornus ‘Midwinter Fire’ so that we get some bright colour in the winter and spring. Our banana, Musa basjoo, is doing great, though looking pretty tatty right now, and the Gunnera manicata will rise again. Think I might talk about Beth Chatto’s Water Garden next!