On views



The author of that frightful bit of doggerel that has
somewhere in it “a poem as lovely as a tree,” did touch on one of the truths of
nature. The view of the skies above or the water ahead is as simple and
satisfying in terms of beauty as one could wish. Certainly nothing in my carefully
contrived if not consciously poetic garden comes close.



But I love it for all its awkwardly placed plantings—all the
tall things in the front, the sun-loving lilies stretching forward in their
partial shade, the voracious ivies, the rampaging wisteria. I’m not there now,
but I know these lilies—the same I posted on last year—are currently in bloom, and quite a bit more. Check here for some more GBBD meanderings, and of course here.

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Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regularly radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world,and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at yahoo.com


  1. I’d rather be in your garden than on any beach, particularly if a nice Alsatian white is being served, and some of your gardening friends are willing to hang out and yak.

  2. I have a friend who looks at her garden and only sees the weeds. I made a vow this year to see the flowers. I take a lot of pictures of my gardens and have decided that I will think of my garden as having moments. So when a poppy blooms and it knocks my socks off with it’s weird imperfect perfection, I’ll just see it. Not just look at it, but really see it and appreciate it and ignore the fact that what is around it is being consumed by slugs.

  3. I like the poem too!

    I am often torn about whether, in my old age, I’d rather live by the sea or in a garden. Maybe I can have both.

  4. I passed a house today where there was no garden –nothing but a weedy “lawn”, front beds filled with tall thistles and pokeweed and dock, but on the side of the little rambler were two creamy-yellow lilies, almost 6 feet tall and loaded with flowers and buds. First I wanted to sneak in there and dig up the bulbs sometime and put them in my garden where they would be appreciated, but then I thought that perhaps the people who live there will eventually see the beauty of the lilies, and shape a garden around them to complement their beauty.

    And I grew up in a garden by the sea, and I would that I could go back there!

    And I like that poem too!

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