Senin, 09 Juni 2008

of Gardens

"God Almighty first planted a garden. And indeed it is the purest of human pleasures."
(Essays: 'Of Gardens', Francis Bacon)

Mr. Bacon perhaps was right about gardens. But should he have visited Kebun Raya Purwodadi, East Java, the quotation could have been different.

Purwodadi Botanical Garden should be beautiful but to this day I still deny it because it looks like an abandoned Eden that amens the "throw a cut of branch and it will grow" saying (perhaps it has the most collection of dry climates plants). It looks a bit tired and old although it is much 'younger' than its Bogor contemporaries, established in 1941.

The last time I went there, about two decades ago, was a scary experience. I had goosebumps and could not focus on the collection because it was dark--due to heavy foliage, and the mosquitoes were the hosts.

It is not as oftenly visisted as its contemporaries in Bogor and rumors are to be blamed. It is said that many people drowned in the waterfall inside the garden because a ghost princess was hungry for males. This irresponsible news was widely circulated that many people were discouraged to come there.

I hope one day I can set aside some time to visit the garden and put my worries to sleep there. You know, gardens are beautiful. It's just like zoos. They're a living collection of what the Horticulturist has created and planted in various places.

I partly agreed with Mr. Bacon especially when I remember that I had so much good time visiting Kebun Raya Singaraja (officially Kebun Raya Eka Karya).

It was a beautiful noon I lay down at a field of closely matted grass and the fog came down slighly. Then I saw a curious Australian plant for the first time. It was blissful to see a variant of Rosaceae bloomed. I thought to myself, is it sakura--cherry blossom? And it was a pure pleasure to be in a company of people who liked me (they were Mr. Franky Utana's friends and childrens). We sang and ate together.

What an experience. What a pleasure.

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