Alan Chadwick a Gardener of Souls

Lecture by Alan Chadwick in Saratoga, May 23, 1972


Lecture 4, Part 4.8

An Introduction to Alan Chadwick's Lectures and a Glossary of Terms

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Contents of this Segment:

The garden as an extension of the environment; Scents of flowers; Mathiola, Daphne, Nicotiana Afinis, Narcissus, Carnations, Alyssum, Violet, Freesia; The emanation of the people and place of Saratoga.



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Villa Montalvo Lecture Series

Saratoga, California, 1972, Lecture 4,

The Totality of the Garden, Part 8


And that in all those areasnow that you’ve got this consummate basis of everythingnow you can build the magics of all your individual gardens: your little courtyard of stone with a water-lily pool with Iris all round it.  And over here is a rock garden, and there is a Rose garden, and there is a walled vegetable garden, and there is an orchard. And they all are part of a huge totality. But that totality is following the contour of the land and fitting in in the areas of where the soils are right, where the climate is right for this, this plant and these. All these kind of plants like this, they like shade, these like the full sun.

So, I must not say “They’ll have to make do with what they get.” They won’t make do with what they get. You can’t grow Hydrangeas in the sun. Camellias do not like the morning sun, they will all burn, and go brown, and they will look quite horrid, and you will suffer forever for it. The whole garden loves humanity as it loves all of nature. And it asks and requests our labors and our affections to join with it and bring about these things of which there is no question: Man is required, and belongs, and is largely loved by the totality of the whole of nature for this matter.

And that we mustn’t forget the enchantment of scents. And I want to run over, very quickly, partly for your amusement, and also partly for your practice. I want to give you some plants of the utmost magic of scent:

I imagine it must be ten?

May I please, just interlope and say that normally speaking I am a gardener, and I love working. And I think that labor is an attribute of goodness and honesty, and that talking about such things is considerable delirium. And that I never really like it, or enjoy it at all, and sometimes it’s made me very ill. But, if I may be permitted to say so, that somehow, in this beautiful little theatre, and to the people here of Saratoga, I have met something that I have not met before: an emanation in which I have found a great happiness.




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