Garden in Pradópolis
Gardens have an intimate relationship with memories.
When we think of a garden that does us good, we are invaded by a mosaic of sensations, colors, lights and shadows, perfumes, reminiscences, either because we were touched in the first visit, or perhaps in the only one, or because of the continued experience of this place.
Our garden in Pradópolis makes me smile whenever I think of it.
My husband went to work at a sugar mill remarkably close to this city in the interior of the state of São Paulo. He looked for a house with space to plant. It was difficult to find one, contrary to expectations. All the yards, in a region of such good soil, were cemented. Easier to care for, they said. Trees and their leaves that insist on falling, dirtying the ground! Finally, he found a house with a square of soil and a mango tree. still small, but big enough to occupy almost all the ground.
On one of those long-awaited weekends, when I went there, looking at the neighboring vacant lot, weeds growing, I thought about removing the wall that separated us from it and integrating it into our home. The idea worked. Manoel rented this 250 m² plot and that is how I got a piece of land to do what I wanted. What a gift!
It was a joy! Moments out of time! There I cultivated everything I like for six years, without prejudice, without explanation, intuitively juxtaposing harmony, the many shapes and colors to each other. I contrasted soft contours to the most austere, dotted with innumerable shades, which delighted us with their multiplicities.
We experienced mistakes and successes, with only the essential care that the plants should have a vocation for that place. The days passed by with the hoe in hand, and the scorching, dry heat, did not diminish the urge to plant, to harvest the pot of the week’s flowers, to enjoy the flowering of the day and the buttoned one that would be ready to blossom the following week. In a short time, the garden was gaining its own will and at the taste of the seasons we were often gifted with surprising flowers. Sometimes it didn't work out so well. Working on earth we exercised humility.
Not always, despite all the good intentions and knowledge of the matter, we managed to get it right. We have successfully cultivated Hemerocallis of all colors, agapanthus, philodendrons, neomaricas, grasses, begonias, bromeliads, flowering shrubs, jasmine, roses and orchids in a small appendix. Many flowers offering us the delicacy of their evidence. A pitanga tree, sugarcane, lemon grass; rosemary, basil and mint to season the food.
The garden was visited by frequent guests, like a beautiful pair of green iridescent lizards that stretched in the sun near us. Different birds made their nests there, such as saffron finches, thrushes, especially an ever-present barred antshrike, adorned to attract its female pair, and later, both carefully feeding their baby birds. Flocked hummingbirds sucked whatever nectar was there.
Observing this whole group soon discovering this place, the fugacious movements, was an invitation to let go of pride and become aware of a world that lives outside of our rite, but that despite its independence, we are responsible for it and in need of it.
There we joyfully experienced the graceful cycle of this garden, learning of our dimension. A small section of the universe.
When the time came for us to leave, we took with us a palette of memories of all colors and an immense joy of having lived that garden.
Writing, photography and watercolor Isabel Duprat