Outlook Issue 26 Winter 2018
News and Views from St. Mary's Woodbridge
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Five minutes with Marek Wysocki (contd.)
So what is a naturalistic garden? Bee-friendly flowers are essential, with untamed areas to encourage wildlife, along with natural building materials. Marek’s Chelsea garden featured the façade of a tumble-down worker’s cottage, an old tractor in a ditch, a garden where wildflowers mingled with cultivated ones, bounded by a fern-covered drystone wall. At St Mary’s, Marek’s remit is to keep the churchyard tidy, brushing up dead leaves and grass (the Council does the strimming) and pruning shrubs. He makes a special point of keeping ivy off the memorial stones. A more creative venture is at the west end of the churchyard, where he is establishing a wildflower meadow, to be cut twice a year, as recommended by Suffolk Wildlife Trust. Near the main gates, he is encouraging the spread of tiny cyclamen, and for the spring he is planting more flowering bulbs and propagating the primroses. Gardening can be quite lonely work, and Marek especially enjoys his time at St Mary’s because he sees a lot of people, who exchange a word or two as they walk through. He also looks after Boulge churchyard, as well as many private gardens around Woodbridge – and still sometimes designs a garden. To prevent himself from ‘seizing up’, as he puts it, he practises yoga every day. Let’s hope he keeps going for a long time yet! Postscript: Marek thoroughly recommends one of his favourite books: J L Carr’s reflective novel, A Month in the Country, about a war veteran who spends a month in a country church, restoring a medieval wall painting – with an astonishing turn of events … Mary Hodge The Bright Field I have seen the sun break through to illuminate a small field for a while, and gone my way and forgotten it. But that was the pearl of great price, the one field that had treasure in it. I realise now that I must give all that I have to possess it. Life is not hurrying on to a receding future, nor hankering after an imagined past. It is the turning aside like Moses to the miracle of the lit bush, to a brightness that seemed as transitory as your youth once, but is the eternity that awaits you. R S Thomas