A Rose is Not A Rose

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

I have some roses and if you have a garden you probably have some roses too. But contrary to Gertrude Stein’s tautological formulation, a rose is not a rose, necessarily. There are roses and roses, and the rose we grow, or attempt to grow, has very little in common with the splendid specimens produced by, […]

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How Now Brown Cow?

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

Visible from my office window is a bronze bovine sculpture by the River Wear. It celebrates a city’s origin, for it was to the spot where Durham Cathedral now stands that in AD 995, so the story goes, a dun cow led the monks who were searching for a safe place to lay St Cuthbert […]

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Gardens on the Attack

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

Who will read this excellent book? It falls between two stools, gardening and art, just like its subject, the late Ian Hamilton Finlay. He was the creator, over forty-five years, of Little Sparta, near Edinburgh, generally acknowledged to be the most important garden created in the late twentieth century. John Dixon Hunt describes it as […]

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Twitching

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

Looking down my garden I see blackbirds, thrushes, blue tits, finches of various denominations, wood pigeons, collared doves, and sparrows. Occasionally a green woodpecker drops by to prod at the lawn. Several times a day red kites circle overhead looking for roadkill to gobble. Rooks dispute the tops of the copper beeches opposite. Sometimes at […]

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