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Flowers a big part of humans life marketing essay

Support Aeon Donate now I am not a gardener. A few square metres of paved back yard offered me little scope for horticulture as a London child. Faced with a larger square of neglected lawn that came with a later house, my parents were helpless and I absorbed their bafflement.

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Yet I am passionate about gardens. They promise escape and comfort, a place to read and heady pleasures for the senses. In flowers a big part of humans life marketing essay small a space gardens offer a connection to the larger natural world for which we hanker.

So it is bewildering to note quite how disappointing many prize-winning gardens are. But that was a daring exception to the dreary rule.

Gardening is an art, certainly, with rules and disciplines and many different tones, philosophies and styles. But there must be room for mystery, too, for what is artfully hidden as much as what is on display. It seems to me that the show gardens at Chelsea appeal to the botanist, the box-ticker, the admirer of individual species, rather than the lost souls of urban England looking for a solace provided by gardens that heal the rift between nature and man, or between the busy mind eager to seize on geometries and concepts and the dreaming subconscious.

So what is the hidden hunger that drives us all, not just the professional botanist, into the garden? What fantasies are we playing out in our various idealisations and realisations of gardens? A corner where old-fashioned rambling roses fly blowsily about a careful arch constructed from tangled sycamore, beech and ash; a meadow full of paint-bright wild flowers; a crooked line of worn stone steps fringed with ivy, running beside a silvery stream leading to a chilly pond with yellow flag irises and marsh marigolds; a colourful border with scented stocks and potentilla, delphiniums, peonies and cistus flaring for the day; parades of purple lavender blowing a French summer towards you.

There is a delight in a neat vegetable garden leading from cabbages to courgettes to the crossed bamboo canes training runner beans, and beyond, under nets, the raspberries. There is the beguiling allure of wayward profusions of nasturtiums spilling from a window box, or a sequence of square box hedges in the mist, the dew at their ankles hinting at the mysteries of all plant growth — from water and earth to these silent sentinels.

Such gardens hint at stories, summon memories, suggest without hectoring; and in all of them the landscaping, the curves of shrubbery in a lawn, the terracing or layout of paths, the walls and gateways are as significant as the planting.

These seem spaces entirely created to serve an inner hankering. In his book Arcadia: England and the Dream of Perfection 2009Adam Nicolson notes that this kind of gardening was born in Mesopotamia around 4000BC, alongside the earliest urban civilisations. Besides towns, temples and ziggurats, the ancient Sumerians built irrigation channels which brought water from lush marshy areas to the dry flatlands where cities grew. Succeeded by the Akkadian c.

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These enclosed outdoor spaces became images of watered perfection within the imperfect hubbub of the city. Nicolson is a grandson of Sackville-West and the husband of the gardener Sarah Raven; together they live at Sissinghurst Castle. In his thoughtful book he explains how the idea of Arcadia fused a Greek vision of bucolic, pipe-playing innocence, with the evocation, by the Roman poet Virgil, of a beneficent, sensuous pastoral landscape, available to his leisured shepherds and shepherdesses as a setting for love and poetry.

In England, the idea of Arcadia reached its ripest expression in the Renaissance. It is there in the poetry of Edmund Spenser and Sir Philip Sidney, whose prose work Arcadia 1580 was written for his sister, Mary Herbert, the Countess of Pembroke, while he was staying at her idyllic country estate, Wilton in Wiltshire.

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Here the idea of Arcadia was embodied as much in the landscape and gardens of the estate as in the conduct of life — the apparently timeless feudal relations between the lord of the manor and his tenants. Peonies reach globed perfection just before they fall apart.

By the time Milton published Paradise Lost in 1667, our mortal link with this Arcadian vision had been broken.

  1. This is very far from the square of paving I grew up with, but my response to it is governed by the yearnings first kindled back then. Pygmalion literature essay gatorade advertisement analysis essay?
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  5. What I know about the technologies. Gradually however, through childhood, adolescence and early adulthood, nature gives us over to consciousness and culture, effectively turning us out of the garden in a secular echo of the biblical fall.

This highly wrought imaginative ideal was always fragile. And that, Nicolson notes, was part of its charm. The French Baroque painter Nicolas Poussin arranged his handsome shepherds in their golden landscape around a tomb with the enigmatic words inscribed, Et in Arcadia Ego, reminding us that even in Arcadia there is death.

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Gardens are at their most delicious at sunset, just as the light turns fiery and fades. As we lie in a flower-bordered dell, the midges come to bite. It is no wonder that it is so hard to find the garden that matches our imagination.

As soon as you think you have it, reality — often dark, sometimes predatory — kicks in. In 1819, John Keats, sitting in a Hampstead garden, recorded that it was only while the nightingale sang that he could sustain the mental picture: For gardeners wrestling with the brute circumstances of rough earth, weeds, insects, and weather, it is impossible to compete with the images conjured in poetry.

Yet these images are largely responsible for shaping our hopes of what gardens might be. Even Keats, whose brother was dying, knew only too well that Arcadia is not possible on any patch of our Earth: In the writings of the psychoanalyst Carl Jung, the Garden of Eden represents childhood — a period of life when nature and instinct give unstintingly. Gradually however, through childhood, adolescence and early adulthood, nature gives us over to consciousness and culture, effectively turning us out of the garden in a secular echo of the biblical fall.

Every problem, therefore, brings the possibility of a widening of consciousness, but also the necessity of saying goodbye to childlike unconsciousness and trust in nature. For others, it is about a darker kind of subjugation.

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For the Victorian critic John Ruskin, gardening was certainly about the desire to return to his childhood and recreate the experience of Edenic bliss.

Ruskin set about restoring the house and gardens. There had been formative visits to the Lake District with his parents when very young, which burned that landscape on his imagination, but otherwise he had grown up in south London, at Herne Hill and Denmark Hill, in houses with substantial gardens that he and his mother tended. At Brantwood, Ruskin set about the combined strategy of creating a wild flower and rock garden William Robinson had just published his hugely influential book, The Wild Garden, in 1870 and importing the apple trees and cherry trees that he had loved in Herne Hill.

As he succumbed increasingly to mental breakdown, Brantwood became his sanctuary. As Andrew Marvell noted, the garden is like Eden because it also contains the serpent.

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Now I live surrounded by the garden my husband grew up in: As he works now on the paths and hedges, on reinstating beds and lines of view, he knows that he is digging down into those memories. He laughs that he spent his childhood being nagged by his mother to help her; yet now that he is free to make the garden entirely to his own pleasing, he has unconsciously set about recreating a more pristine version of hers.

This is very far from the square of paving I grew up with, but my response to it is governed by the yearnings first kindled back then. If not quite Arcadia, it has in muddy patches hints of bliss that go far beyond the sterile perfectionism of the show garden.