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  • Writer's pictureAnne Jennings

Return to Musing

I wish it need not have happened in my time' said Frodo. 'So do I' said Gandalf, 'and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given to us.'

J.R.R. Tolkein - The Fellowship of The Ring

This quotation headed the introductory Blog on this site in April 2020 when the world was adjusting to one in which Covid dominated our lives and made our futures feel uncertain.

As with so many people and in so many different forms, the Blog was a way to make use of that unique time, to try something different, to communicate to a wider audience than the restricted circle in which we lived at the time. The theme and intent were insular, myopic, focussing on an opportunity to return to my garden after a semi-absence of a number of years. It proved to be a therapeutic and energising exercise.

As lockdown and its variants eased, I found new professional work that was for a time all-encompassing and for more than two years neglected this literary conceit. I don’t believe it was missed and that doesn’t matter at all - its main purpose was fulfilled through a strange time that has created something of a black hole in our memories and personal chronologies.

But now I have returned – hopefully some will find the musings of interest, but if no one else cares it will serve a purpose well for me, even in isolation. The theme must change to address new ideas and considerations and will be influenced by the professional journey I have taken since the last entry.

So why the repeat of a Tolkein quote as a prelude?

Frodo and Gandalf’s conversation speaks to me now of the precarious state of our planet. The impact of wars, conflict and ineffective, seemingly uncaring governments is at times overwhelming. Add to these factors the hugely concerning threats to climate, nature, ecology – all the complex interlacing elements that create a balanced world in which we should all be living.

This installation at the RHS Chesea Flower Show 2022 was design by John Warland in part as a physical reminder of climate change, with the ice gradually melting throughout the show
The Plantman’s Ice Garden by John Warland RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022, designed in part as a physical reminder of the impact of climate change.

Of the former world-wide issues, I feel impotent beyond sharing my worries, concerns and opinions with like-minded friends. But the environmental threats relate in many ways to my profession and, as a landscape architect, I know that I can help, even if only by bringing light to a small corner of this planet.

In Gandalf’s words I can ‘decide what to do with the time that is given to us’ by ensuring I leave at least small parts of the world in a better state than I found them.

So, the blog will meander through all the concerns and threats but also highlight good things – new legislation, attitudes and knowledge.

It will visit projects where biodiversity and green infrastructure have been positively exploited to the fullest extent. I hope it will provide inspiration for the future of the world in which our children, grandchildren and more distant future generations will live.

It would be great to have some travelling companions alongside me as this Blog is relaunched and redefined.

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