Wednesday Vignette – uncertain times

If you haven’t already seen Monty Don’s fantastic 4-part series on Italian Gardens, I highly recommend it. When I first watched it, there was one garden that in particular spoke to me – the Sacro Bosco in Bomarzo, created by Vicino Orsini. As opposed to most other gardens of the time, this one didn’t provide the customary one-sided  glorification of power and celebration of man’s might against nature. Sure, there were some elements of that too, but more so of the random capriciousness of life, and the darker sides of existence. At points, it highlighted very real fears, and aptly illustrated the deterioration of worldly fortunes and power structures, and the concurrent decay of morals and standards of ethics. It’s a fantastic garden! You can see it here – it starts about 35 minutes in…


Lately, images from that garden have popped into my head quite often. The news of the past couple of weeks are so mind-blowing and often so bizarre and  incomprehensible that I feel that even hiding in my garden doesn’t make it go away. The uneasiness of roaming malicious spirits abound, even in my safe space. I don’t have a lot of art in my garden, but I do have one thing that brings out the kind of unpredictable angst that can be sensed in Sacro Bosco. I bought it from a student at my eldest’s high school, at a fundraiser for their art program. Surrounded by a currently blooming Holboellia angustifolia, it is holding court in a dark corner of the backyard, as an occasional reminder of the world outside my haven. Maybe I should take it down and bury it? No, that would be admitting defeat. It will stay, and remind me to stay engaged, informed, and on edge, while longing for the peace, calm and trust in the world, that most of us so hotly desire. How do you deal with the complex tangle of madness surrounding us?

About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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24 Responses to Wednesday Vignette – uncertain times

  1. I have been hiding in my garden since the election.

  2. Grace says:

    What a cool piece. It does look daunting and yet at the same time kind of curious. Maybe curious for hope and beauty. Right there in the garden is where they are, feeding our hungry souls. Great post, my friend!

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks, Grace! Maybe he is the gatekeeper who only lets the good spirits enter. After all, he is positioned right by the gate. I like to think of him as benevolent, despite his stern appearance. At least toward good people…

  3. Thankfully plants and gardens are still an escape for me, one that allows me to breath.

  4. Alison says:

    I have seen those episodes of Monty Don’s Italian Gardens special. I love the bit where he talks about the spot in one garden where you can get a “peak at her bum.” I can see how your own piece of art disturbs you, it does have a bit of malevolence about it.

    I put together a WV post today, you can find it here:

  5. annamadeit says:

    I like to think it channels my own anger and frustrations with the world… I know exactly which part you’re talking about. Re-saw it yesterday when I was looking for the Bomarzo clip… LOL! Yeah, he really is a great guide through all these fantastic gardens!

  6. Tina says:

    The garden isn’t the respite it once was, but it still restores me–to an extent. I like this photo, but the art is a bit…dark. 🙂 It’s a lovely piece though, I like its undulation and cold, metallic looks in contrast with the living foliage. I have not vignette today, as I’m in my wildlife mode. Next week!

    • annamadeit says:

      It is kind of an ominous piece, isn’t it? I guess that’s why I fell for it – it spoke to my inner darkness.
      No worries about a missed vignette. I greatly enjoy your wildlife posts, too! 🙂

  7. Kris P says:

    Much as I long to escape the current political environment, the short-sighted machinations of unfettered corporations, and the violence that plagues our streets, I realize that’s the wrong objective. As you indicated, we need to stay focused on the goals that align with our moral principles which requires staying tuned into events; however, I think we also need to allow ourselves periodic time-outs. I had what bordered on an anxiety attack earlier this week and realized that I wasn’t doing myself or my community any good if I didn’t manage the stress. We can’t stop the onslaught of crap hurtled at us by news and social outlets 24/7 – we can only control the amount of time we tune into those outlets.

    • annamadeit says:

      I absolutely, totally, and fully hear you, Kris! I’m taking a much needed timeout tomorrow, and I can’t wait! The only obligation I have is a haircut – LOL! Which in itself is pampering, so it’s going to be a good day, I think! 🙂

  8. Peter Herpst says:

    For the last couple of weeks, I haven’t listened to the news and have mostly stayed in my house and garden. The escape has been divine. Thanks for the link, the garden is very interesting!

    • annamadeit says:

      Oh, good for you! Like Kris said – we all need to distance ourselves from the barrage of insanity, once in a while. Sacro Bosco is quite the place, isn’t it. It has firmly placed itself on my bucket list.

  9. hb says:

    The bit about flowers in Renaissance gardens make sense. Can’t imagine Italians not loving flowers.

    I’ve seen blog posts recently on the amazing Amazon Spheres gardens. Truly an amazing place, but…Amazon treats most of its employees like slaves. Chews them up and spits them out. Behind every multi-million dollar garden is a great crime? .

  10. tonytomeo says:

    I happen to live and work in the redwoods in the Santa Cruz Mountains. My garden needs no more sculpture than that. I do get rather annoyed at the cliche statues of Buddha that are so overly popular in other gardens, just because no one bothers to stop and contemplate as Buddha would suggest. He has become a meaningless and tacky fashion statement. If I had my way, I would prefer statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or perhaps her husband, Saint Joseph. Not only to they get noticed more than statues of Buddha, but they suggest serenity within (rather than separate from) all the worldly chaos, and even sorrow. I happen to be quite fond of Saint Joseph anyway, because he (like so many of the saints) is so obedient and humble, and willing to take on SO much for the rest of the World.

  11. You’re a strong soul to bring reminders of the world’s dark turbulence into your garden. For me, I’m all about comfort and joy in the garden. And a whole lot of denial.

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