GBMD: The Life That I Have

For the peace of my years
In the long green grass
Will be yours and yours and yours.

Leo Marks - The Life That I Have (1943)

Can you see the man hiding? I missed him completely until I got home. I was concentrating on getting the light in the right place on the stained glass window when I took the photo.

The Evaders Garden was an evocative Artisan showpiece at Chelsea. It's based on the true story of the designer's RAF serving father, who was shot down over France in 1943 and evaded capture via the help of the local people.

My Muse Day piece shows the last 3 lines of the poem carved on the tablet you can see on the left. This was issued to Violette Szabo, whose WWII bravery formed the central story in Carve Her Name With Pride.

Helen Gazeley over at Weeding the Web has posed an interesting question re the Artisan category at Chelsea using this garden as an example. Must these gardens tell a story, or should we demand more gardening and plantsmanship as far as this category is concerned?


  1. Any story is lost on me - I want to enjoy a real garden, The contrived nature of shows puts me off. I would far rather visit a 'real' garden where plants flower when they should, grow as they should, to the size that they should.

    To me show gardens are like paintings using plants are the medium to show ff the artwork of the designer and not a living thing, I wonder whether they will have the same impact next week, next month, next season or next year after the plants sare to grow and petals fade.

  2. Good points Sue. I have seen some of the show gardens in their new homes. Some work and others don't.

  3. Thank you for the link, Michelle.

    That's such a beautiful poem. Any opportunity to be reminded of it is always welcome.

    1. You're welcome Helen - your question has helped to round this piece off nicely :)

  4. In my humble opinion...Most gardens have a story don't you think?...why did you plant that particular plum tree; why is there a lilac outside your bedroom window. However, I would find it very difficult to communicate why that lilac is there. It is for the artist by word and image to tell us the story and evoke emotion in a garden.
    RHS. "Artisan Garden: Truly enchanting and imaginative, Artisan Gardens reflect both traditional and modern approaches, using artisan methods and natural materials from sustainable sources – all in a small plot. "
    Size: 5m x 4m or 7m x 5m

    1. Good point Bren, though our stories are woven together over a much longer time. With these show gardens there has to be a central idea, from which the garden is created. with the Spanish garden I featured from Malvern recently, I was struck by how the designers had a clear idea of each resident in the street they created.


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