Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

A spirit of sacredness and serenity and oneness with nature

That's how Charlie Dagit described the gardens he visited in Kyoto and other Japanese cities more than 20 years ago, and it aptly describes the sensibility he strives to achieve in his garden in Gladwyne. I visited Charlie and his wife Alice in the fall of 2010 for a piece on Japanese-style gardens.

A spirit of sacredness and serenity and oneness with nature

That's how Charlie Dagit described the gardens he visited in Kyoto and other Japanese cities more than 20 years ago, and it aptly describes the sensibility he strives to achieve in his garden in Gladwyne. I visited Charlie and his wife Alice in the fall of 2010 for a piece on Japanese-style gardens.

Charlie emailed recently to say hello and attached several photos of the steep hillside garden behind the house, which he designed and helped build in the 1970s. They brought back memories of a happy time spent exploring the plantings and paths, water basins, rocks and stone benches that loom above the busy traffic below.

Not sure I felt a "spirit of sacredness" up there, but "serenity and oneness with nature" definitely apply. And, in this suffocating, prematurely-summer heat, I'll add one more characteristic: cool. Cooler, rather.

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog
Ginny Smith, a Philadelphia native, joined the Inquirer at 1985. After stints as both reporter and editor in the city and suburbs, she’s been happily writing – and learning - about gardening full time since 2006. She’s won two silver medals of achievement from the national Garden Writers Association and in 2011, Bartram’s Garden honored her with its Green Exemplar award for her stories about “the region’s deeply rooted horticultural history, cultural attractions and bountiful gardens.” She plays in her own – mostly - bountiful garden in East Falls. Reach Virginia A. at vsmith@phillynews.com .

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
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