Simplicity and Focus

There is nothing more complex than finding simplicity.  I spent 50 years figuring this out, then read a Facebook post with a quote commonly attributed to Albert Einstein: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”  I don’t really care who said it, I like it.

Simplicity in anything boils down to focus; “what to leave in, what to leave out.” (Now I know Bob Seger said that.)  And it’s oh so true in the garden.  We’ve all seen how a garden can reflect someone’s personality or thought processes.  From the stark, contemplative beauty of the Japanese meditation garden to the crowded, yet meticulously arranged English borders, people have been trying to create a specific feel, a particular mood in their garden for centuries.

simple structures

Some simple things just look simple, like this temporary wedding arbor overlooking the ocean.  When you look at it, you might think, “That’s nice…simple, elegant, serves a purpose…you know, I could make that for my garden.”  The bench on the right is simple as well…eight pieces of wood nailed together to make a bench.  When you look at it, you might even describe it with the same words you used to describe the arbor, even though they are very different.  What they have in common is simplicity and focus and a oneness with their environment.

ornamental grass

Simplicity is all around us, from the elegant motions of windblown grasses, to the mystically ironic manner in which fog brings attention to structure by obscuring the details.

Using focus and simplicity in the garden, we can entice you to explore…

simplicity in the garden

Invite you to relax…

Relax in the garden

Overwhelm you senses…

Overwhelm your senses

Charm you into forgetting about the workaday world outside the garden…

fountains in a park

Or, perhaps, to look at the world in a new way.

Garden path












Guest Blogger Bio

“As a writer, I try to keep it short and sweet.
As a gardener, I try to keep it lush but neat.
As a horticulturist, I try to keep it in the peat.
As a blogger, I try to write a sweet, neat, peaty tweety.”


Horticultural director

Steven Chamblee

Steven Chamblee is the Horticulturist at Chandor Gardens in Weatherford, Texas.  He writes for Neil Sperry’s Gardens magazine and e-newsletter (“Native Son” column), and is the Roving Reporter for the “Dig In Dallas – Forth Worth” television show.




One Response to Simplicity and Focus

  1. Graciebelle November 19, 2013 at 6:06 pm #

    Lovely photos – lovely reflections. Thanks!

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