Gone AWOG - Absent Without Garden
During my recent holiday in Rarotonga I went totally AWOG - absent without garden. I wanted to live totally in the present, enjoying the island, taking lots of photographs.
Pretty Roadside Flower
I didn't try to produce any meaningful, analytical writing. Best not to over-complicate a slow-paced, tropical holiday. I wasn't a deep-thinking traveller, merely a gardener on leave, on an island that some would consider paradise.
Walking With My Camera
So I took my camera out walking to record the sights, the plants and the gardens. But it wasn't all that simple. Being a guest in another country put me in a bit of an ethical dilemma.
Was it heavy-handed and cynical, for example, to photograph roadside rubbish? And then should I also bother to pick it up and dispose of it? As long as it wasn't a rusting car wreck, of course. Phew. I'm glad I sorted that one out.
I had to remind myself that I was a gardener, not an environmental commentator. It was time to stop overthinking, enjoy the warmth, and search out the flowers (even if weeds) and the leaves (even if they'd been left lacy by a munching bug).
There was no point worrying whether my images said anything, or nothing, or something in-between. I never think about such things back in my own garden.
But I did move away from the rubbish and the broken-down shacks, onto the many tropical garden features I love - like the island hedges, grown so easily from a straight furrow of sticks and stalks. The foliage greens look huge to me, too, and the leaf designs are very stylish. I also love the Ti trees, related to my own garden's Cordylines. And the island gardener's wonder tool - a whipper-snipper!
And I didn't miss my own garden at all - not once. That's real proof that my holiday was a success. I'm not so sure about my photographs though, but hey! I did my best.