The other day I was planting some bulbs out in a tricky spot in the garden. The soil was a bit dry and full of rubble , there was the usual ground elder to remove and the bed is tilted and at an awkward angle. To top it all there is a very old clematis vine in front of the spot and somewhere very nearby its roots. The vine lay across the planting hole and I found myself reaching for my claw rake and using it as a retractor.
Would this have come to mind had I not spent some eighty hours so far watching surgeons use their tools in tricky spots? I always look to nature for inspiration in my work ,usually for the subject matter, but now I find it helpful to bridge the gap of experience. Naturally I am not allowed to actually get involved during surgery and this had initially presented me with a dilemma. How do I understand the hands of another without trying what they do themselves?
Whilst planting I always have to remove weed roots, note the soil condition and not chop the worms up as I dig. The soil structure is 'healable' but there are schools of thought that regard pit planting as preferable to digging over the whole bed. Choice of planting relies on knowing the spot that you want to plant up; dry? shaded? well drained?
A multi dimensional understanding is key in gardening. This means that you combine the understanding of the plants' needs, the ecosystem of your garden, choice of colour and how time affects the outcome. And yet these are qualities of all expert practise, we all use multi dimensional thinking to produce our work, artist, surgeon or gardener.
My thoughts turn to understanding colour and complex surfaces hence the image above.This demands a whole post later.........