Workshop

Dear potential guardian of the gardens of welcome.

I wish to welcome you to this free introductory workshop.

You have probably already received a welcome from Reality somewhere on your journey along the sublime path of enlightenment.

How often have you welcomed Reality into your life, and how, and why?

How often have you welcomed Reality into a garden with you, and how, and why?

And why are you interested in becoming a guardian of the gardens of welcome?

What do you have to offer?

Do please place your responses in the commentary box.

There are many important questions for you to reflect upon as you interact with the other potential guardians of the gardens of welcome, and with the gardens themselves.  Whether you will have the opportunity to interact more than superficially with the fully qualified existing guardians and gardeners will depend upon your answers.

My name is Charlotte and I am the Ethereal Chancellor of the International Training Centre for the Harmonious Interplay of Beauty, Understanding and Magnificence.  It is my duty to ensure you are fully conversant with the past, present and future importance of gardens and gardening and welcomes and courtesies.

Gardens are far more important than farms and factories.  Indeed, they are far more important than palaces and parliaments.

Gardens are not necessarily as important as forests or flowing streams though they do have a place in children's hopes and dreams.  I often wish I had insisted on my own children becoming good gardeners.  The world would now be a much better place if that had occurred.

Understanding good gardening begins with respect for the soil upon which it is based.  Indeed, no commodity is as valuable as good soil.

In a similar way, no community is as valuable as the peaceful interactions within it.   Without peace, a community cannot truly be said to exist except as a fragmented and failing, degraded one.

Have you ever helped to implement a community garden or a community orchard or a more accurate understanding of a community?

This workshop involves the development of thriving communities, through the planting of suitable seeds both physically and symbolically.  No-one should be expected to tolerate weeds, diseases and pests in a garden of welcome.

In a similar way, identifying problems, preventing ill health and removing pests is part of any worthwhile occupation or vocation.  Restoring health where it has been lost is also necessary whenever a valuable specimen is ailing.

You appear to be a valuable specimen yourself, dear visitor.  In a short while, I shall, therefore, supply you with a few cuttings.  How will you use them?

As you are probably aware, at least if you are quite familiar with gardening, there are many ways of striking cuttings without going on strike.  There are also many ways of grafting cuttings without resorting to graft.

You may already know that, in my spare time, I am Villa Twaklinilkawt's most senior ethereal tour guide.  I personify the connection between the pre-industrial world and the post-industrial world.  I also personify the sovereignty of nature over culture, but not to such an extent that nature becomes intolerably uncomfortable.

If you have been enjoying something of the grounds of gracious causes, you may have been following the path of enlightenment or meandering in your own way.  That, of course, has been your own choice, regardless of the signs reminding you to keep to the appropriate paths, tracks, carriageways, bridle lanes and scooter routes.

No-one has forced you to follow the path of enlightenment.  You will possibly have been forced to go around the poetic Twaklinian potting shed, unless you have proved suitably qualified to do otherwise.

Matching qualifications with practice will always be important if those qualifications are to have any relevance, hence this workshop is much more about practice than theory.  Most good gardeners find that practice is far more useful than theory when there are ecological niches, micro-climates and ignorant visitors to be considered.

The path of enlightenment is, of course, the most sublime of the Villa Twaklinilkawt pathways. It is certainly the pathway I recommend anyone to seek after exiting Twaklinesque long galleries A and/or B.

How do you usually survey an area when planning a garden or preparing for a new season?

How do you usually survey a social situation in which a stranger stands or sits before you, or lies on the ground as an unexpected obstruction?

The guardians of the gardens of welcome are proficient in first aid and a few words of various foreign languages though they do have a limited tolerance of unhealthy habits and poor hygiene.

They understand mulch and compost, organic methods pest control, companion planting and the benefits of biochar.  They know which species are likely to thrive in Adelaidean conditions, without becoming weeds.  They also know how to maintain a drought-tolerant garden without creating the risk of a wildfire.

Whilst standing within the glorious gateway of gratitude, you will have had the experience of glimpsing the gardens of welcome through the beautiful inner gate.  Those gardens are not to be confused with the more exclusive walled gardens.

Confusing one sort of garden with another can cause all sorts of problems.  Adelaide is not subtropical.  Nor is it suitable for lush lawns.  It is, in many ways, marginal.  Its evaporation rate is higher than its rainfall.  Its public footpaths are often intolerably narrow, like the imaginations of many of its gardeners.

If you have mobility difficulties, the suitable scooter routes of Villa Twaklinilkawt follow parallel to each side of the path of enlightenment for your comfort and convenience.  The sublime pathways are mainly for peaceful pedestrians and able-bodied gardeners, with or without wheelbarrows.

The reasonable carriageways are usually supervised by reasonable horses, with or without human intervention.  The horses have their own composting toilets conveniently located in the grounds for gracious causes along the various bridle lanes.

As you do not appear to be a horse, you are only permitted to use the relevant facilities indicated for your own natural functions.  Being a guardian of the gardens of welcome is a highly responsible occupation.

Just as the walled gardens surrounding the gardens of welcome are more exclusive than the gardens of welcome themselves, so is the walled, library garden.

In addition, the editorial orchards are relatively exclusive, though you are more than welcome to book a spell in one of them to sharpen your editorial skills and pencils.

The walled kitchen garden is also somewhat exclusive, mainly because it can only supply provisions for a limited number of guests.

The walled seedling gardens are also out-of-bounds to most persons, including most ordinary gardeners.

It can certainly be enlightening to learn what is inside the lovely walled gardens, as well as within the possibly unlovely ones.  Being aware of the boundaries upon which a welcome is based is useful for anyone to know.

I especially recommend that you spend at least a little time viewing the apparitional pavilion.  A true welcome is always much better than a fake one.

If you have not yet noticed, there are several perimeters and other boundaries associated with Villa Twaklinilkawt.  You may learn more about these within a little writing hut.

Good gardening is a relationship between land, labour, financial capital, political capital, intellectual capital, scientific knowledge, good friends, a wonderful imagination and a nice cup of tea.  To supply access to beautiful views for other people to enjoy begins with a beautiful point of view.

As a guardian of the gardens of welcome, you will be expected to have a beautiful point of view of your own, though not necessarily a garden of your own.

You will be expected to welcome visitors with the ongoing assistance of Reality.

You will also be expected to introduce visitors to the philosophy upon which Villa Twaklinilkawt is based.

Once you complete this introductory workshop, you will be invited to make your way to the not-so-new interpretive centre.  In that location, you will be able to hear about the next stage of training for the guardians of the gardens of welcome.

You will learn about many of the maintenance arrangements within and around Villa Twaklinilkawt, including the maintenance of the gardens of welcome.

You will discover more about the official history of Villa Twaklinilkawt, most of which is rarely presented to ordinary visitors.

You will be expected to have an in depth knowledge of the gardens of welcome and of the location of Villa Twaklinilkawt more generally.

You will also be expected to learn about Villa Twaklinilkawt in your own time as well as in the time of the tutors provided to assist you.

Although you will not be expected to guide anyone on the official public tour, you will be expected to know what is likely to be seen through the Twaklin gate.

You may also be expected to help anyone looking for the official sign of hope.

If this is the first ethereal workshop you have attended here, you may not yet be aware of the privilege you are currently experiencing.

No other workshop is offered here for the low price of a few attentive moments of your time.  There are, however, many free introductory tutorials offered elsewhere in Villa Twaklinilkawt.  Have you experienced any of them?

What does the word "workshop" mean to you?

Does it convey the idea of practicality and usefulness?

In this introductory level workshop , you are not expected to have any prior knowledge of the design, implementation and maintenance of a garden of welcome.  If you do have that knowledge, please make that fact known to Reality and her colleagues at the earliest opportunity.

You are not necessarily expected to have prior skills in the supply of enlightened cultural leadership.  If you do have those skills, you are likely to have participated recently in an exhibition on the art of reciprocity.  You are also likely to know how to set appropriate boundaries, with or without the use of walled gardens.

Discretion is an essential quality for any guardian of the gardens of welcome.  You will be expected to know when to direct people towards one of the pretty flower rooms, for example.

You will also be expected to know the differences and similarities between various types of conservatories, various approaches to conservationism and the various incompatible forms of conservatism.  This is due to the fact that the next workshop in this series is likely to be held in the rotunda of reason.

Each guardian of the gardens of welcome has a clear sense of the priorities to be upheld here.  They know how to inform visitors of the services provided, without overwhelming them unnecessarily.

Further workshops for persons wishing to become guardians of the gardens of welcome are considered by the proprietor and myself to be premium services.

The guardians of the gardens of welcome are outstanding philanthropists. They know how to support a welcoming atmosphere with good taste.  They therefore know that the sponsorship in support of the introductory public tour and this workshop has been generously but subtly supplied by my main employer.

My Adelaidean office is known as the chancellery.  You may have already received a welcome there.  It is a very good location from which to observe the weather, the seasons and the climate.

I do not wish to rush you into making a decision about your future as a guardian of the gardens of welcome.  The ethereal proprietor would never encourage anyone to rush.  Indeed, she and I both consider rushing to be exceedingly distasteful.  Do consider spending a few days and nights in a creativity cabin before making up your mind.

As you may have already noticed, the guardians are expected to co-operate fully with the highly serious senior security guards, the moderators, the monitors and the beadles.  In return, those individuals are expected to co-operate fully with the guardians.  It will be your job to prevent anyone from behaving in an authoritarian, narcissistic, apathetic or otherwise unwelcoming manner.

Now, if you have not yet completed the public tour of Villa Twaklinilkawt, your allocated Adelaidean guide is likely to be waiting for you.

Finally, at least for today, I wish to remind you that the memorial fund welcomes your contributions.

You may intend to plant the cuttings and a few seeds in memory of someone you love, admire and respect who no longer exists in the world of ordinary mortals.  You may also intend to visit the library of Villa Twaklinilkawt before you leave here, to gain the knowledge with which to do so.