Friday, July 28, 2006

Gardens #2

A shady road, running along a wall like that of an English park, led out of the town for about half a mile in a direction of the hills, and a gate opened into the most beautiful botanical gardens I have ever seen. Lawns as perfect as the most ancient and august in England rolled in gentle slopes shaded by clumps of enormous and, for me, still unknown trees, except for another banyan under whose convolutions I lay for an hour or two and watched my cigar smoke drifting through its many trunks. Next to it a huge cannon-ball tree ever now and then loosed off its ammunition, which fell with a dull thud upon the grass. It was a casual and empty paradise, with no other purpose, it seemed, than to furnish a solitary refuge for the Marvellian reveries of the wisely recumbent gardeners and me.

Patrick Leigh Fermor, The Traveller’s Tree