11 January 2012

Psychology with Peter

Or, where do all the twigs go?
Being exposed to the elements five days a week - from dawn to dusk for half of the year - affects one's outlook. Nick at Brooke Hall says things which can be interpreted any way you like: sometimes he speaks in truisms and other times he sounds a bit mystical. When we go to clear the twigs on the South Lawn he points out that there is always the same amount in that place, whether the twigs were cleared two weeks ago or two months ago. My view is that a certain amount of picking up goes on, in passing. Estate gardeners are often seen snapping twigs in half on their way from a to b, throwing them out of sight behind a bush or tree. The level of debris is monitored subconsciously. But I am hoping for a scientific explanation.

'It's to do with human nature and has nothing whatever to do with science,' says Peter, my logical friend. 'There is a certain density of twigs on the ground that promotes their being picked up. When the density is great enough someone in authority says "The twigs must go." Before the order from above, you never notice them.'

So, really, we are talking about dependence on power and a need to be controlled. 'It's purely psychological,' says Peter, as if closing the book. But what I'd like to say is, psychology is a science. And it has everything to do with gardening.