Wondering how to share with you my dream, I went to Google Images. I did not really find what I want, but this image captures the spirit if not in any way the subject of my dream.


an early 20th century card by Josef  Madlener

I have asked myself the question: what if I won the lotto before I leave Sequoia Gardens. Would I stay? What would I do to develop the gardens further? I must admit that I think I would leave, for in my head I am ready for the next stage of my journey. But I would regret not completing three projects: The Garden Celebrating an Imperfect Universe, about which I have often written, e.g. here

The boys find a perfect universe

The potential of this garden, the size and simplicity of the idea, the audacity of it makes it my greatest loss; the project I would most like to complete.

Next in line is a recent concept,  and one which is so far beyond my financial reach or any practical implementation in the way I envisage it, that I allow myself to dream ever bigger. It is impossible – so don’t even consider the possible! That is where the top picture comes in. I was dreaming of a magical space – a spiritual place, a chapel or a meditation retreat under the avenue of pin oaks. I cleaned the site up a little in this photograph.

My cathedral space

Under these tall, upright pin oaks there is an space that can easily be levelled. The trees soar like the pillars of a gothic cathedral. In winter their traceries meet overhead, but in summer the leaves form a dense roof high up. Cleaning up and levelling the space beneath them is very possible – in fact it would be my first project should I stay. But then the dream kicks in. Beautiful as this space is, it cannot protect one from the elements. A simple glass-roofed structure on slim supports will protect those gathered beneath. Simple. Oh, exquisitely simple. The supports would be cast in specially prepared moulds; or perhaps carved from a softer material. They would be the attenuated organic shapes one finds in the best Art Nouveau work; picture the entrance to a classic Parisian Metro; or beautiful Art Nouveau stained glass. Perhaps loops and curves, great bone-like shapes.

paris_metro_elev_b1305601010270 97839cd5ab66d56b175160f4271f15d3 images image-3

Did I mention stained glass? The roofs would be clear – except for swirling tendrils creating the structure. But perhaps at eye level – or higher – between the pillars – there could be stained glass such as one finds of the period; a botanical, illustrating our native flowers; or perhaps allegorical scenes. Or even glorious unstained glass…

a b c d e

Imagine our natives immortalised in beautiful stained glass…

schizostylis-coccinea 16-lobelia-erinus gladiolus-dalenii-2 ouhout-thicket impatienssylvicola agapanthus-inapertus begonia-sutherlandii

Oh right. . There’s a third dream. But it doesn’t quite  flow from here, so let’s keep it for later…

(I see now – yesterday it was the 5th anniversary of my blog… happy birthday to me!  That is quite an achievement, I think Smile)

9 thoughts on “DREAMSPACE

  1. my blogaversary was June, so we are almost twins.

    If you are caravanning, then your next garden … is some time away.
    Torn between ideas that won’t happen here now, and the fresh ideas itching to happen. Have been looking at Victoria’s Cotswold garden, and thinking about colourful foliage. Plenty of silver indigenous, but gold and wine dark sea colours tend to be commonorgarden or exotic.

    • Diana there are marvellous gold and red tinged Proteaceae, cultivars grown for their leaves. Which I saw on my last Cape visit. Investigate that. It was in Mossel Bay and I think again Hemanus areas I saw them.

    • As for my next garden: full time caravanning is some years away. Regular caravanning is the dream but mostly within a 300km radius. And the garden I’m looking at as a possibility will be almost entirely of creepers and climbers to give depth and softness to an exceptionally unappealling structure. Enough said for now. 😆

  2. Dreamscape: beautiful. Especially like the idea of stained glass or even beveled glass. Our “new” backdoor has a large beveled glass panel of different panes and I love the Alice’s looking glass effect of seeing out of doors. “Unappealing” structure? Are you kidding? I guess that would depend upon what you end up choosing for the pillars, is there a particular hard beyond compare tree in Africa? Don’t laugh. 😉 We have here the bois d’arc (Maclura pomifera) which eats up chainsaws as a regular occurrence. Any way, t’is a lovely idea if you tackle it or not.
    Have you thought anymore about your new house and garden?

  3. Happy blogaversary, Jack! Your imagined art nouveau glass chapel under the cathedral of trees is a beautiful dream. I love the creativity of your imaginings. I do find myself thinking that an unfinished garden is a very suitable way to celebrate an imperfect universe. BTW, I had to look up Josef Madlener to see where he lived and worked because that stand of white birch trees reminded me so much of the area where I live. In winter, especially, I will sometimes turn off all the lights in the house and watch the moon rise through the trees.

    • How I envy the idea of moonshine on your trees in winter. There is a magic to birch and beech woods which is so exactly opposite to the most beautiful of African treescapes… and I want it all!

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