Thursday, October 21

A garden cares for those who care for it | From the shooter to the city

Arboretum de la Vallée-aux-Loups in the Hautes-Seine, one of Marco Martella's favorites.
Arboretum de la Vallée-aux-Loups in the Hautes-Seine, one of Marco Martella’s favorites.

A garden cares for the one who cares for it. Any gardener feels it when he ends up not knowing if he is doing his job for the welfare of his trees or for his own. There are many psychoanalysts, and gardeners, who consider that the separation between nature and the individual comes from many of the pains that afflict us. The prison of our self in front of the changing, patient, resistant forest that abides by calamities and celebrates life.

But, despite offering rest, a forest is not quiet, a garden speaks. Nor is it a discreet place: you can hardly find a greater concentration of exuberance. It cannot be a nostalgic place because it is a celebration of life and yet it is restorative because it is overwhelmingly wise.

On A small world, a perfect world (Elba), Marco Martella tells that the Anglo-Icelandic Jorn de Précy retired to live with his gardener as a hermit because he believed, like Freud, that we carry inside a foreigner who uses the language of dreams, and that of illness, to Express oneself. But unlike Freud, Précy was convinced that the evils did not come from the prison of the ego but from the separation of nature.

Sissinghurst Garden at Vita Sackville West's home in Cranbrook, UK.
Sissinghurst Garden at Vita Sackville West’s home in Cranbrook, UK.Getty Images

Martela explains that although things may cease to exist in the mind, nature demands action. Respond with action. Accompany with action. “It has endured the exercise of arrogance of man to think that he could tame it to allow the false myth of progress to pass. And she seems ready to forgive him (if man does not insist on self-destruction): Nature has always come to our aid ”. Précy writes to Herman Hesse – who has also retired to a garden. “Nature breaks, but it also calms. The cycles repeat from year to year. Like a mother, renew your cares. That is why a garden is a refuge, but not a shell, it is a place of healing.

Nobody knows as much about Précy as Marco Martella, who inviting us to doubt what dazzles us does not make us doubt who is hiding behind the mysterious Précy. “Close your mouth after opening it to look better,” he advises. And he describes Versailles, as: “the king’s garden not the king of gardens: virtue was cultivated in the gardens and vice in Versailles.”

But it’s hard not to be dazzled. André Le Nôtre brought to perfection the art of surprising to discover how much magnificence it takes away. “It is like heaven that can only be entered with a VIP passport. The surprise does not yield to the small joy, It does not speak of us. Neither of the world, nor of reinventing it, speaks of invading it, of disguising it ”.

Saint-Simon had the courage to reproach Louis XVI in life for the cult of power, putting his power above his kingdom: wanting to be master and lord of nature. That is why Versailles is, above all, the impossible and unsustainable garden: during the king’s official walks, there was a gardener hidden behind each fountain to be able to close it when he had already passed and contemplated, or not, the water games ”. Human arrogance has no limits. But nature puts it in its place. That is why Martella is in favor of the small pleasures correcting the great tragedies. It is about not forgetting that the grass and trees will continue to grow, that the game of looking at the clouds will continue to exist and trying to discover, among their unpredictable shapes, silhouettes of what we know.

For Martella, the best gardens are those that are discovered little by little. You don’t see the landscaper, you see the landscape. They listen to the place. They grow like a seed. In a garden there is splendor and decline: that is why there is truth. “You enter a garden like you would open a book, without knowing what you are looking for. I think that’s why you always find something ”.

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