Two reasons for this post title: firstly I aught to be getting my marking done, but am drawn to my computer to write a post – hastily. (You get the pun? ;)…) Secondly that hasty post will be about the Rondel Garden, currently all but barren, in need of a complete rethink, but the first of my ‘grand idea’ gardens, and at its best a glorious space. And most of this material will be lifted directly from my postings over the years at www.mooseyscountrygarden.com where a search for ‘Rondel Garden’ will take you to the originals and many more pics – should you wish to explore the Rondel Garden further.

Frans in the Rondel I’ve not clarified the second link to my title. Think of Robert Burns’ poem To a Mouse, on Turning up her Nest with the Plough. He apologises to her in a lovely poem for disturbing her carefully prepared winter safety, and says near the end (paraphrased into more modern English) ‘The best made plans of mice and men often go wrong and bring us nothing but pain and grief where joy was anticipated.’ This is of course also the title of John Steinbeck’s famous novella and yes – I do teach it some years! Above, in a scanned photo from the late 90s, my stalwart, Frans Seale,  stands in the Rondel in its prime. Below, from the same summer, Mme Isaac Pereire grows into the entrance arch.

Rondel entrance I told the story of how the Rondel Garden came to be in an earlier post – click here for it. And I‘ve agonised about its future. But I have decided. I am moving the roses out of the Rondel and into an informal planting between the new entrance to the garden and the planned Mothers’ Garden – shown on the map as the “Mothers’ axis”. You will find the map by clicking on ‘Garden Maps’ above the masthead at the top of the page.  I wrote about the map here , where you will also find a copy. Now all I need to contextualise these stores is a post on the planned Mothers’ Garden. But that will have to wait for another day. Back to my marking. I leave you with one last pic of the Rondel in its 2003 heyday!

Rondel Garden 2003


4 thoughts on “OF MICE AND MEN

  1. Dear Jack, The Rondel Garden in its glory is certainly overblown with Roses. This does give a very romantic look and I am sure, the fragrance is delicious. However, for me, if I wished to see more of the structure of the Rondel, then I should, as you seem to be suggesting, move the Roses to a more informal area of the garden and give a tighter backbone to the Rondel Garden, perhaps including some topiary or low hedging? I look forward to seeing your plans develop.

  2. Dear Edith, the more I have thought about the future of the Rondel Garden, the more I have pictured the kind of design you mention. On the one hand I have always wanted to use Acer buergeranum like annuals, surrounded by a low hedge. Besides germinating like weeds for us, if protected from the wind the seedlings’ leaves are deepest blood-red by mid-winter. I rather like the idea of replacing my trees every year or two ;)! Perhaps I will alternate that with a picture that has haunted me for 15 years: do you know the rows of clipped santolini domes surrounded by box hedges at Ham House?

  3. how exciting to have a new project going into the new year. It will be interesting to see what direction you move in

  4. Jack, I had to smile as I read this. Isn’t it amazing how many other things you can think of to do when there are papers to mark? (There may be a teacher somewhere who enjoys grading papers, but I’ve never met one!). Having been virtuous until my final grades were submitted, I’m now indulging myself in an orgy of garden blog reading and catching up on weeks of posts. I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with the Rondel garden.

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