Why James Golden doesn’t feel completely overwhelmed by what he has created is beyond me. His garden, Federal Twist, profiled by Michael Tortorello in a New York Times article entitled, “The Good for Nothing Garden,” is a special kind of muddle. The kind of “muddle” I would like to have in my own garden. But that would be impossible. This is definitely a case of nature vs. nurture. Federal Twist is the work of an artist, a plantsman and a keen observer.
If you are a plant geek, you can spend hours, maybe even days, in Federal Twist identifying the tremendous variety of plants, Golden has so carefully placed throughout the garden. I am hardly ever caught up this pursuit. Instead I like to wander and figure out what’s going on… as they say on a global level.
There are paths that take you throughout the garden and well-placed sitting areas for contemplating what you are seeing. The interplanting, the changes in height and texture, the ordinary to the extraordinary is downright confounding. These outdoor drawing rooms are imperative. You need a place for thoughtful repose.
I visited Federal Twist with two gardener friends. Walking by a single hemerocallis, a plant the three of us could easily dismiss, but in this garden made our heads turn: one of my gardener friends said, “it’s all about context.”
A picture may be worth a thousand words. This is the kind of garden that takes a better writer than myself to communicate its bones. I simply want to thank James Golden for the opportunity to visit the garden. It has inspired me in ways that aren’t entirely clear to me, yet.
I recommend James Golden’s blog, View from Federal Twist