Neve and The Garden.

My Dad once told me that in moments of anxiety or boredom he recalled walks he loved step by step. This suggestion has got me through some very tricky experiences and, living in the Yorkshire Dales, I was able to add to my interior playlists of steps and views most weekends. When I first came to visit Ville's parents in their summer house in the Finnish countryside I knew that I would be walking its paths and reliving its vistas hundreds of times in my life.

The house here has the same feeling as a tent. Its not that the structure is insubstantial or not beautiful, just that  it's the garden that really matters. Not having running water adds to that feeling as you have to stumble outside to wee in the night, and the toilet is a dry one in the barn. Washing up is done outside. The garden itself is the perfect balance of wild and tame. Much of it is given over to the abundance of wild-flowers with narrow mown paths just wide enough to walk easily, while retaining the feeling of being in a meadow. In the history of gardens there was a time of conquering nature, of giving the organic straight lines, but here what comes naturally, comes first.

Last year when I came to this garden I had just found out I was pregnant, and I felt very sick. Today only a year later I am walking its paths whispering my love to my daughter. Neve has just turned 4 months, all my hopes have been realised. All fears about birth, and whether I could really be blessed with another healthy child, have been turned to joys. This year, thanks to ideal conditions, has yielded the most plentiful flowers I have ever seen here, and I am able to show them to Neve. Even in the rain I wrap us both with waterproofs and tread the paths that last year I felt too lethargic to enjoy.

I daydream, and wonder if she will one day come to this place when she needs to mend her heart or think clearly. Will the annual renewal help her find courage? Will she bring a lover here one day and absent mindedly make garlands of these flowers while she shares her hopes? Will she, like this garden, find the right balance in herself of spirit and convention?

Next year when we come here, there is every chance that she will be taking steps. Ville and I may be watching her toddle using the mass of grasses and flowers for balance. I look forward to the sight with pleasure, knowing I will also treasure every day in between.

Anton looking at the well water.

Washing up.

The Barn.

Flowers on the barn.

Wild flowers after rain.

Wild flowers and rocks.

Purple and white.

Pink and yellow.

Baby-wearing Neve in the rain.


Neve and a cherry.

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3 thoughts on “Neve and The Garden.

  1. oh how i'd love to live in a place like this - beautiful

  2. Anonymous11:53

    This garden is just beautiful!! It reminds me of when I was little and my mum used to read me The Secret Garden and I would daydream of finding my own secret garden :-)

  3. Wow, it's so beautiful there and Neve is just gorgeous. Your entire post was lovely.


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