Sally Ann Wardroper

I live in Kent in the present time, but I have one foot firmly in the distant past. I write and teach courses on the history of gardens and landscapes, and the beauty of poetry and literature.


Calendar 2020

There is a hill
which is sacred
and round

There are people
who journey
to find

There is a question
as to why
they look

Where else?
I wonder.

Sacred Earth © Sally Ann Wardroper 2018


Diary 2019

Like all great things, gardening is multilayered and complex. Superficially, it’s good for us – exercise and fresh air – but go deeper and we find peace, restoration and tranquility; and beyond that even, we can find connection, immersion, flow and healing. For some, it’s an enjoyable hobby, for others a chore: for me, it is balance, connection and inspiration. At its best it is a spiritual experience and I find I often lapse, unknowingly and unconsciously, into a sort of meditative state when gardening; my thoughts flow freely, ideas come unbidden and unforced, and trains of thought lead anywhere and everywhere, random and unfettered. The ability to be completely absorbed and satisfied – physically, mentally and emotionally – by performing a simple manual task in a small patch of earth just outside your door, is immeasurably beneficial in a world of complex, instant, virtual living. It fosters a respect for real time, not quick-fix instant time where fast equals good and faster equals better; but an actual understanding of the eternal and unchanging cycle of birth, growth, death and re-birth. Nature can’t be hurried, and if we are wise enough to accept this central truth we can feel the pressure fall from our shoulders. The forces of magic which will make our seedlings appear are not within our power to control, but what we can do is to enjoy the basic, uncomplicated, deeply-rooted love of simply working the soil and growing things.

In Praise of Gardening © Sally Ann Wardroper
Adapted from her book “Beyond the Bindweed”


Diary 2018

A Monday in May - the hottest day of the year so far, and the canal looked cool and inviting on my morning walk with Muffin. A magical thing happened. Looking round to check where she was, I saw her rolling in something on the path and called out some suitable comment on her behaviour. As I did so, a hare emerged from the long grass on the bank, crossed the path just in front of me, and darted off into the cover of the crop field. Its ears were very long and upright and it had a wild, elegant way of bounding, quite different from the softer, more cutesy lolloping of rabbits. It felt very special, particularly as the backdrop was so beautiful; lush grass, full-leaved trees, creamy hawthorn and cow parsley lining the canal banks, rapidly maturing crops, glinting water, blue sky and a hot, golden sun, still early enough to retain its freshness but powerful enough to bathe the countryside in warmth. I felt it was a sign, and the picture as I replay it in my mind is cinematic or illustrative: so perfect that it feels it must have been specially constructed in order to be laid before a viewer. When I remind myself that this was a real event and I was the only spectator - caught in the perfect moment at the perfect time - it feels like the whole universe is on my side.

Morning Hare © Sally Ann Wardroper 2016