The Gardeners promised to make a planter and find a specimen tree that would ‘advertise’ the artwork at Reception. They are busy people – my expectations weren’t high – but I was taken aback by the loveliness of their choices.The planter is bespoke and ‘charred’ (we had talked about burning as a transitional process in the nature of change: tree to wood to charcoal), the tree is perfectly proportioned and – not least – the surface beneath is of undisturbed moss, grass and fern.
Gardeners, rangers and farmers: all choose their work – I assume – for the love of being outside. But where they may wield saws, loppers and secateurs I have been tackling rhodi’s with a pair of children’s scissors. Neither topiary nor forestry – my aim is neither management nor adornment – I modify, selecting one leaf where it nudges another, as if a genetic mutation were at work instigated through touch.