Ethos and approach
Flower of Life aims to design, create and upkeep spaces of beauty. I have spent several years contemplating and developing my understanding of what ‘beauty’ means in the garden; this has shaped my ethos and approach to my work and is reflected in my design and gardening work. I believe there are practices that we can adopt and others that we can refrain from in order to accentuate the beauty of our gardens and in turn deepen our appreciation of it.
The garden as a whole:
I feel that a garden is truly beautiful when understood and tended to as a whole, interconnected, living system. When we treat it as such there is a kind of cumulative beauty that is revealed, which is generated simply by our participation with nature. In this relationship with nature we become stewards rather than controllers.
Herbicides and pesticides:
Seeing our garden as a whole, living entity, it becomes increasingly hard to justify the use of chemical insecticides and herbicides. The widespread availability and legality of quite poisonous substances along with the way they are marketed has reduced our tolerance as gardeners. I feel the swapping of reductionist horticulture for a more holistic understanding of our gardens remedies this. I have also become convinced that the destruction of life is at total odds with the creation of beauty.
It’s all about the soil:
When we appreciate how crucial the health of living soil is to our garden we then see the importance avoiding imbalancing it or destroying it with chemical herbicides, pesticides or synthetic fertilisers. The crucial importance of soil health and an understanding of the natural revitalisation of the soil defines how I work. For example, by composting our garden and food waste rather than buying in compost we can not only complete a cycle in our garden but our very involvement in this process through our intention and energy is greatly beneficial in and of itself.