Friday ‘Garden’ Café
Don’t miss this week’s ‘Garden‘ Café!
One of the most superb descriptions of a garden in Homeric poetry is found in Odyssey 7 where Alkinoos’ garden is vividly described.
Outside the gate of the outer court there is a large garden of about four acres with a wall all round it. It is full of beautiful trees—  pears, pomegranates, and the most delicious apples. There are luscious figs also, and olives in full growth. The fruits never rot nor fail all the year round, neither winter nor summer, for the air is so soft that a new crop ripens before the old has dropped.  Pear grows on pear, apple on apple, and fig on fig, and so also with the grapes, for there is an excellent vineyard: on the level ground of a part of this, the grapes are being made into raisins; in another part they are being gathered;  some are being trodden in the wine tubs, others further on have shed their blossom and are beginning to show fruit, others again are just changing color. In the furthest part of the ground there are beautifully arranged beds of flowers that are in bloom all the year round….
Such, then, were the splendors with which the gods had endowed the house of King Alkinoos.
Odyssey 7.113–129, Sourcebook
While winter is approaching, our longing to walk into a green and fertile land becomes stronger. It is tempting to go to a botanic garden or a tropical garden if one is lucky enough to live in a city where there are such exotic places.
The description of the mythical garden of Alkinoos in the Odyssey shows the importance of fruit trees in antiquity. The flowering and maturing of apple, plum, cherry, apricot, orange and other trees is enchanting. The pleasure of the eyes and the scents mingle, bound with the expectation of crunching on the ripe and tasty fruits. But in a garden with fruits and vegetables, the incorporation of flowers adds beauty, and a delightful aroma: flowers like roses, hyacinths, wisteria, violets, lily of the valley, and many other splendid, fragrant blooms.
I am fond of English landscape gardens. They have the charm of a relaxed composition, with sweet odors. I am also stunned by the majesty of French formal gardens.
What about you—what kind of garden do you like? Do you prefer one with plenty of flowers, fruit trees, and bushes—or a minimalist one, simple, and bare—or a well organized symmetrical design with just greenery? Would you rather choose to have one with fruit trees mixed with flowers, and the vegetables planted in a separate space?
The Café is decorated with luxurious foliage, and tropical plants that are flowering for the occasion. Please join me in the discussion, choose a comfortable chair, and order a nice virtual beverage. I have prepared wonderful smoothies with fruits or vegetables.
Stone arch bridge in Stourhead, Hans Bernhard Wikipedia Commons
A contemporary garden à la française in Provence: Le Pavillon de Galon Wikipedia Commons