The Poetry School and the London Parks and Gardens Trust have hybridised!
Between now and London Open Gardens Weekend (13-14 June 2015), seventeen poets (including two members of the Poetry School staff) will be running mini-residencies in some of the London gardens that take part in the annual LPGT scheme. There are city gardens and graveyards, wildlife gardens and stately home gardens … each of them will host a poet who will be looking for new work and audiences amongst the veg plots, orchards and flowerbeds.
Poet Sarah Hesketh manages the London Open Gardens weekend. This collaboration with the Poetry School – which we’re calling Mixed Borders – is the perfect way to combine her love of the horticultural and the poetical. Our first session saw us leading a residency training session (covering hostile audience awareness, spiky plant risk analysis, blank page minimisation strategies and all the other fun stuff) followed by an afternoon in the garden of the Jamyang Buddhist Centre in Kennington writing garden-themed poems in situ.
Over the next six weeks, we’ll be reporting on the poets’ progress, showing you their gardens, poems and projects. Meanwhile, here’s a sweet-smelling bouquet of all the participating poets’ favourite garden flowers: forget-me-nots, fuschia, rose, peony, freesia, medlar, pulmonaria, cornflower, cyclamen, honeysuckle, lavender, snowdrop, granny nightcaps, columbine, sweet williams.
The wild narcissus is being cross pollinated to such a degree with daffodils it is difficult now to find them in nature. You can get these lovely wild flowers and they go well beside water in a small garden. I do not like the Latin name however, it is : Narcissus pseudo narcissus. I have a few in my Somerset garden and know of only one spot in the Blackdown Hills where they grow (and I am not telling).
Down there by where the small stream flows
It’s damp and shady too
That’s where the wild Narcissus shows
Its sunny yellow hue
Its face looks down t’wards the ground
Its leaves all look upright
There bumble bees will buzz around
Through dappled rays of light
So seeming shy it flowers there
Within the semi-shade
Narcissus does not have a care
Nor debts that must be paid
Narcissus is a flower, that’s all,
Within a habitat
And sorrow does not come to call
For flowers don’t feel that
If pain and sorrow is in us
We can’t externalise
Plants aren’t a part of all our fuss
In time we may be wise
T.Morgan (from Tale of Aethelwulf, a work in progress)
Hah, that’s a no-nonsense Narcissus, thank you Trevor!
I just love the turn of the seasons and although not much of my work is botanical I like what you are attempting here. I do however write in quite unfashionable lyrical verse with even more heretical use of rhyme.
Best wishes with this. I will not be able to get to London for the foreseeable future but look forward to reading about it.
Here is another effort of mine: https://poetmorgan.wordpress.com/2014/07/17/the_old_ruin_of_the_britons_chapel/