It’s Life Versus Death and Life will Win

Sunday 26th July 2020

I see it as Life versus Death and Life will win.

Life is coming back.. I don’t think the Government will be successful in stamping it out, this time.

Gardens for a start – I’ve two gardens to give you. Here’s the first.

I visited Wildside two weeks ago. It’s rarely open. Perhaps you don’t know it. Keith Wiley, who was Head Gardener at the Garden House in the Far West for 25 years, took some fields nearby 16 years ago and began a garden from scratch. It’s been seen on TV and gained the cover the RHS Garden magazine last summer. His mentality is to dig. I don’t mean a spade, I mean earthworks. He looms with a JCB and goes down 8 foot. Some have questioned his sanity. The last time I saw the results I thought it dank and messy, although wonderful in photographs. Now it’s quite different. Paths and hillocks – it’s an exploring garden, hollowed out of fields and sunk down although you’re not specially aware of that when in it. You’re trekking and discovering rather than taking tea. The paths are rocky. Really it’s very bold and simple. Vistas on a certain scale, waves and dips of grasses, acers, with astonishing outrages of bold colour from crocosmia, lilies, various yellow daisies. I liked it. The inspiration might be South Africa, but the Veldt, I imagine, is flat and high and this is low and concealed from the surrounding landscape which is right because sitting conspicuously in it it might glare. The areas are different but there’s a remarkable unity to the whole considering its size. Unpretentious and confident.

Keith Wiley and his wife sacrificed everything to make this garden. To begin with they had no home and it was made clear that they wouldn’t be allowed one. They were crouched illegally. Eventually the planners relented. Now there is a fine wooden dwelling. Last autumn his wife died unexpectedly which as the doleful notice explained, apart from anything else, halved the workforce. How two people, let alone one, could manage this huge (and expanding) garden, I just don’t know. So if you possibly can, you must volunteer or give money.

This is an important National garden.



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Posted Sunday, July 26, 2020 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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