Hey! I am back!! Have you missed me?

I am really, really, really sorry for not being in touch lately.

I had a lot of stuff going on since spring: from being crazy busy at work (and managing panic attacks for the first time in my life), to having a one month trip to Italy visiting family, friends, and obviously gardens. It has been an intense and beautiful moment, but from time to time I felt like I was almost going C R A Z Y.

Now it’s different: I have learned how to manage the pressure and I feel really, really good. Most important, I am back and ready to share my knowledge and my thoughts with you about gardens, plants and life. Life and gardens are in my opinion deeply connected: it always amazes me how much I learn about myself by simply spending time outside.

I did that a lot lately, because, as I said before, I had to deal with panic attacks; nothing massive: I easily could manage this claustrophobic feeling by slowing down my breathing and focusing on calm thoughts. Very unpleasant but manageable.

This stuff happened because of a really stressful moment that I can summarize and simplify in this way:

A lot of work + I am a perfectionist + I am eternally unsatisfied

=

 

A lot of pressure…I am sure that many of you know exactly what kind of feeling I am talking about.

I got seriously stressed out, so I took a lot of walks outside, trying to better understand these new feelings, and in some ways to accept them.

The truth is that sometimes we want to ‘stretch’ ourselves too much and do as many things as we can. Plus, I always want to keep super high standards (for example every garden I design has to be unique and I don’t like using the same ideas for more than one garden).

Because of this hunger of doing everything, we end up loaded like one of those fruit trees whose branches are curved by the weight of the fruits, ready to break soon.

Nature is never dumb (I can’t say the same about myself unfortunately): trees know that their energy is limited, so if fruits are too many they just select those ones that surely can ripen, and let the others fall down.

And if trees can let go, so do you!

I didn’t have the energy to do all the things I wanted to do; I have accepted this limit and magically my anxiety faded away. Thanks to a fruit tree.

 

This is not the first time that Nature opens my eyes to human things: please read a related article I wrote a couple of months back, in case you missed it; it has the title, “COUNTRY GARDENS AND RELATIONSHIPS: THE THREE SECRETS FOR SUCCEEDING WITH BOTH.” I’m sure you will learn a thing or two about gardens and relationships.

Now I am back in my routine, better and stronger! I will write an article on gardens and garden design every two weeks. Plus, if your hunger for knowledge is endless you can follow my Instagram profile where I take selfies of me naked every day (lol not true) and my Facebook page, where I am going to post amazing stuff as the inspiration comes.

Furthermore, if you feel like you want to travel to Italy with me,  this May I will lead a garden tour at Southern Italy: an exciting 18-day tour of art, culture and garden building – so much to look forward to, and learn.

Well, as you can see I am more determined than ever to stay connected with you! Please, stay tuned, and follow closely!

Now, let’s go back to the today’s topic: LAWNS.

It’s better if you grab your napkins because I am going to be really emotional. Ready? Okay, let’s go…

It’s summer over here in Melbourne; the gardens, after a long and cold winter came back to life a while ago, and now it’s a massive explosion of shapes, colours and scents all over the place.

Honestly, spring and summer are not my favourite seasons. I am more a winter person because I like when gardens are bare and more ‘authentic’. But this is a different story good for another article, another day.

Anyway, spring and summer are perfect seasons for gathering outside with your family and friends; and make them jealous because your garden is better than theirs. LOL.

 

When plants are in flower the garden is almost overwhelming: it’s a true feast for your senses. I love plants and I am sure you do too. Sometimes, when they are all in blossom at the same time, it can even be too much beauty at once, “and I need to stop trying to hold on to it and let it flow through me like rain”.

The more I see plants at their best, the more I want them, and the more I have the temptation of making more room for them by getting rid of any ‘unproductive’ space around them, like the lawn.

But lawns are a very important part of the garden, and I have recently realized that in my projects I always design a large lawn next to the house framed by borders with all my favourite plants. I know all those theories about how lawns are ‘the bad guys’ of the garden: a lot of maintenance required, water consumption and blah blah blah.

But lawns to me are indispensable, and I am going to tell you why.

Just to throw some clarity in… When I say lawn, I don’t mean one of those immaculate spaces that you can see in some of those movies showcasing English gardens. The lawn doesn’t necessarily need to be perfect: weeds or other species are allowed if it suits the mood of your garden.

I have more memories related to gardens than the houses where I lived. And most of the time, the action happened on the lawn:

I remember a 4 years old me living incredible adventures with my dog…

The thrill of my very first kiss…

The endless summer as a kid, laying on my back and watching falling stars…

Dancing like crazy for my 18th birthday…

The taste of my mum’s strawberry cake and eating it on top of my favourite olive tree…

The tears from experiencing death for the first time…

The reason why I love lawns is more ‘philosophical’ than practical: while borders, shrubs and trees are like a background, lawns are like an empty canvas that you can fill with all your memories. Lawns are like a stage where life happens.

Now the ball it’s in your court: have you ever thought about lawns in this way? Please share with me your thoughts by dropping a line in the comment section below.

Ciao!