My 1997 photograph of the Emerald Lawn at 45 Sanford Road, Ranelagh, Dublin
The Canal Today
(photo credit www.gardenhousebrighton.co.uk)
I forgive you. It has taken almost a decade but I have finally come to peace with the loss, at first I felt desecration, of the emerald lawn. Of course, I had seen the central lawn between the red and blue borders in pictures for years before I finally saw in it in person on June 19, 1997. I had never seen such a beautiful or more perfect lawn. It was drizzling that afternoon and I think that made the green greener and the lawn more lush than I could imagine. I was heaven, I thought, with the magnificent borders and the most interesting and unusual trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals imaginable flanking and complimented by the lawn. I will never forget that day.
Then it happened. I opened up a glossy gardening magazine and it was gone. I was devastated. I thought it looked horrific. I wondered how you could do such a thing. I could understand how difficult it must have been to maintain the lawn and how politically incorrect a lawn like that had become but to me it was iconic.
After several years, I got used to seeing the canal with its Irish limestone pavement. Several more years later I started to even like it. Now, I can't imagine your garden without it. I think you are right that it is so "completely static...that the planting in the borders at the sides can be more informal." What it taught me is to never hold anything in my garden as too sacred to change. I need to be more open to change and continue to experiment. Although I like my garden to look good, it should never be "finished." It is the process of gardening that I love.
I'm sure you must be relieved to have this awkward and difficult period behind us now. I know I am. I look forward to seeing what you do next. I promise to be open to any changes you make.