And by whose measure?
When I hear this question posed I think of what is often inferred – that somehow bigger is better. Yet, we all know that isn’t always true. Good things often come in small packages, right? It would seem to be a matter of context then. This certainly applies to gardens.
You may think that I’m predisposed to tiny gardens and that would be true, but only at this moment in time and in these present circumstances. I can appreciate all gardens no matter what their size. At various times I’ve had just a few pots on a balcony, at others, vast spaces filled with trees, ponds, natives and exotics.
I think success in this respect is a matter of living well, within one’s boundaries and the challenges that presents, regardless of size or magnitude.
I’m presently puppy-sitting for my daughter who is away with her family at a surf carnival. It’s given me the opportunity to appreciate her garden more mindfully, without the usual distractions of grandchildren and the normal ensuing family chaos (well, normal in my family). Like mine, her garden is tiny, but thriving with a riot of diverse plant varieties. We share a love of eclectic wilderness in garden design.
When I thought about it, I realised the size of the challenges or the rewards had little relation to the size of the garden. It’s all relative to how big one’s enthusiasm and willingness to embrace the experience are.
Limited resources – whether space, money or knowledge – have rarely been an issue for me to achieve a good result. I find having to ‘make do’ enhances creativity. But the magnitude of my resourcefulness has always been relative to the outcome. And to my satisfaction.
You might say, the bigger the challenge, the greater the reward. But here is the rider: a beautiful result and the subsequent rewards are not dependent on the size of the project, big or small.
What matters is who is measuring and what is being measured.
So methinks size is relative and often not what really counts in gardens or indeed, in other matters.
She generally gave herself very good advice, (though she very seldom followed it).