Places of contemplation

A while ago I wrote that we needed some places of contemplation, especially at Dreamland where we have designed little areas especially for this purpose. So we had the “rooms” in our design, but up to now we haven’t really made effective use of them. Standing around aimlessly in an area only manages to slow you down to an extent. We needed some seating to slow us, and visitors alike, down. In fact, we need to be slowed down totally – to become dead still and observe and reflect on what’s happening in the nature around us.

At first, the intention was to build little benches into the ground, as we did around Patricia’s mother’s day fire pit.  Just plain simple little benches cemented into the ground. But a closer analysis revealed that those simple little benches came at a not-so-simple price tag. That’s the irony of it – I wanted to do the “right” thing and DIY-build the benches, as we did for the fire pit. But I can’t build a bench cheaper than some really nice benches with backrests that are locally available. And, to add insult to injury, each of my benches require pumping two bags of cement into the ground, which isn’t so ecologically good either. So I asked Patricia to order two benches, as she has the more creative and arty eye. With the rush of getting guests, we totally forgot about the benches and we just placed some garden chairs that we already had at “strategic places” in Dreamland. (I’ve always wanted to write that… but anyway, there’s nothing “strategic” about it all. We just put the chairs where we thought people may want to hang out.)

So we put one set in the not-so-secret-yet secret garden. Fortunately I had some willing models for the photos. No, the seating won’t really slow them down… ever!

Seating - secret garden

Garden chairs in the secret garden

The views from the secret garden chairs

And we put one set of chairs in an open area behind a low fence, nect to the market garden beds, where you can watch the chooks without being harassed by any of the roosters.

Chairs and their view between the chook coops and the market garden

So late on the Thursday before the AFL cup final long weekend we received a parcel notice for Patricia in the mail. Thinking it was some organic flour, or some other stuff she normally orders on-line, we thought nothing of it. The post office was closed on Friday, so great was our surprise and excitement when she arrived home with the benches (in kit form) in her car on Saturday morning! During the weekend is normally the hardest time to get any work done. Luckily that afternoon Patricia put a movie on that everyone was interested in, so I could slip out to get the benches done in a concerted focused effort. As part of the “installation”, I had to remove the temporary chicken fencing around Markus’ garden and also mow it and process the clippings. Normally I battle to roll up the temporary chicken fencing, but maybe I’m getting the hang of it. I got it all done fairly quickly and when they surfaced from the movie I could announce that Dreamland was open for their contemplating pleasure.

We put one bench at the duck pond, where we and guests can view the Cayugas at leisure.

Seating - duck pond

The bench at the duck pond

Views from the bench at the duck pond. The photo right at the top of this post was also taken from this spot

And we put one little bench in Markus’ also-not-so-secret-yet secret garden. We still need our screen plants to grow a lot!

Seating - Markus garden

Little bench in Markus’ secret garden

Seating - Markus garden view

View from the bench in Markus’ secret garden. 

The ducks followed me all around on the day that I took the “views” photos! If you look closely, you’ll see them on a number of the photos.

There are still a few places where we can do with seating areas. There is one little path near sticky Steve that calls for one of those built-in benches. Maybe I should just bite the bullet and build and install one of them there. I’ll put it on the to-do list and it can fight its own way to the top for priority. But at least now we can be slowed down in the obvious areas to contemplate and notice what’s going on.

About martin@muchmoremulch.blog (167 Articles)
My name is Martin Rennhackkamp, I now live happily in Lara, Victoria, Australia with my wife, two children and two dogs. My interests, apart from the obvious Organic, Biodynamic and Permaculture Gardening and Farming, include sustainable living, surfing, horse-riding, a wide variety of music, dancing, nature, birds, reading, Christianity and a few other things which I never get to...

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