Sitting on top of a mountain pass may not seem the ideal time for a spot of garden thinking, but there's something about a holiday which enables a relaxed mind to wander off into a reverie which can be quite rewarding.
The above picture was my view from the Wicklow Gap in Ireland last September. I was sitting atop a rock like the ones you can see, trying to spot the distant blue of the sea on the horizon, with the sun warming my back and just the breeze and the birds for company. Bliss!
My brain stopped its frantic whirring so I was able to just sit, observe and enjoy the moment. Whilst the vegetation and bedrock there are nothing like what I have at home, I soon found some 'lessons from the land' which I could potentially use here.
The textural quality of this moorland grass illustrates less can be more. And whilst this was covering a wide open space, my homing in so it filled the picture shows it has possibilities for a smaller space like my garden. This was the effect I had in mind when I considered swapping my front lawn for a planting of Hakonechloa.
This reminded me of the walls of my terraced beds, so I need to find similar colour combination for the replanting I'm planning for this year. A simple combination like this one needs plants which are long flowering - I'm currently considering a shorter Rudbeckia plus deeper purple Asters for this 'lesson'.
So, I have some inspiration from an unexpected quarter which I hope to implement later this year. Have you found ideas for your garden striking you at an unexpected time or place?