Rock my Garden!

How a garden became the mirror of a rock music career.

TThe slightly aged rock star, let’s call him James for the sake of simplicity, tells me in a quiet moment of his life that he wants a garden.
In principle he has always been a fan of gardens – no wonder, as an Englishman! – but his eventful life as a man of the stage has not given him the time and space to deepen this inclination. But this is not the real problem.

James likes plants, but not in the arrangement that his Aunt Jane loves in her garden, lush borders in all colors, a lot of pink and yellow, just that touch of icing that lies above everything. This is just not his world, although he sincerely adores Aunt Jane.

He asks me, if we can make him a garden that “rocks” and in which he’ll find himself represented, where he’d feel at home. I answer him without hesitation that this is feasible. How can I be so sure, he wants to know now. I tell him that there is the right garden for everyone and that a garden can and should be as individual as a pair of bespoke shoes. But I have to learn more about his life to plan “his” garden. He nods and begins to tell …

A few weeks, many reflections and sketches later, I present him our first draft.

“Look, James, this is the beginning of your career, we have a lot of rocks here, and these simple rock garden plants in between symbolize your early appearances when you played in front of only 50 people, you look back there, they’re already getting more. Then we go around a corner here and enter a new area, you’re still young, but you’re already successful, now it’s all about you.

This time is exciting; we have steeply bursting plants in hot colors with flaming and exotic leaves, everything is lush and new, it is very jungly here, in this part of the garden one has the feeling that everything could grow here. And apart from that, there is also this little water feature spraying and splashing, which rounds off the scene’s abundance. If you want to remember how beautiful everything was in the beginning, visit this part of your garden.

Now we arrive in a quiet but beautifully curved zone, which is only planted in greens, things are just going well and everything is in flux. Again, we make a turn and come to a hill (which was not there before, but which we will install). It stands for your big hits in your middle years.

In order to make you remember that the ascent was not all that easy and nothing was given to you for free, we have created these narrow wooden stairs in the hill. The plants to the left and right of the stairs are gradually getting bigger, more expensive and more exotic. When you’ve climbed all the stairs, you may be out of breath, you know, the air on the summit is thin.

At the top stands a tree, it blooms and bears fruit, but in the fall it throws off its leaves and reminds you that no idea and no work happens on its own but always has to be re-worked. Staying up is so much harder than coming up. But you have worked out your own success, that’s why we built a bench under the tree. Rest and just enjoy the moment.

We descend from this hill and arrive in a dark corner, which is still very attractive, here you see this wonderful, but somehow gloomy pond, surrounded by dark, but very attractive plants. Your reflection in the clear water reminds you of the dangers of narcissism in showbiz and the dark plants stand for your fears and fears. They stand in that particular place because you can not ignore them, but you do not have to take them everywhere.

The last part almost is the most beautiful part: it’s your orchard, its fruits stand for what you’ve earned. You are getting older now, but you have an exciting career that you can look back to and enjoy now. It’s all your world here, it’s yours and you can change and use it, just as you want it to be. If you still miss something important, we build it. Is it about what you imagined?”

And there it was, the face I had been wanting to see: the face of a man who felt understood and who was looking forward to a new project in life.