The Capricorn Garden
Capricorn, a cardinal earth sign, is ‘ruled’ by the planet Saturn. Saturn has various guises ranging from wise teacher and guide (Merlin or hermit archetype) to grumpy old man and controlling authority figure. There is usually some lesson to learn around Saturn, and it’s often connected to accepting limitations, deciding on boundaries, creating structure, and being pragmatic and realistic.
It’s also about persevering, finding solutions and overcoming challenges, and I doubt there’s anyone who gardens who hasn’t had to think about these. For those who aren’t sun-sign Capricorns, it’s worth remembering we all have Saturn somewhere in our birth-chart, and we all have Capricorn somewhere too (even if there are no planets there).
How can this apply to gardening? Two of the above leap out immediately: boundaries and structure. For those of us in the northern hemisphere, the Sun passes through the sign of Capricorn in the depths of winter (22nd December 2006 – 20th January 2007 this time). The hard landscaping, such as paths, walls, hedges, dividers can show a harmony and beauty all of their own, and coupled with some evergreen plants and a dusting of frost or snow, reveal the heart of the garden which may be masked amongst the colourful abundance of the warmer months.
The stark and the abundant both have their place, and personally I love all of it. Capricorn is a sign that likes to build something on firm foundations, and then watch this develop into something of worth and value. Capricornians are the civilisation-makers, creating lasting institutions of all kinds, and also giving thought to the arts, crafts, literature and those things that embellish and enhance the best qualities of humanity.
When a Capricorn garden is created, boundaries come first, along with the hard landscaping. What kind of boundary? A dry stone wall (stone being a favourite of this sign), or a prickly, robust hedge? Paths will probably have a sense of purpose, rather than leading off into a dead end. For most Capricorns, the tendency is to like the conventional and formal, although there are those in this sign (usually having at least one or two planets in Aquarius) who are fond of the quirky, and they’ll want to try something new.
There are also those with a fondness for a space that isn’t necessarily a ‘garden’, but one that shows a connection between humanity, the planets and the earth through time, for example, Stonehenge, Avebury, Stanton Drew. One or more standing stones are becoming an increasingly popular feature in gardens today.
Sculpture often appeals to this sign; also pieces that are practical, such as a bird feeder, a home for hedgehogs, or a well-made feature that stores logs.
Once the overall structure is in place, decisions can be made about plants and trees. Birch is the tree associated with the Celtic astrological equivalent of Capricorn, and always looks magical whatever the season. The silver birch is strong, graceful and ethereal (especially by the light of the Full Moon), and a small group, space permitting, will add a special feel to any garden. Snowdrops and crocuses planted at the base can add some colour during some of the dark days, and can be looked forward to every year. Capricorns like reliability and things that endure.
The Capricorn garden will be stylish, practical (the owners will have worked out how much time they want to spend gardening/relaxing, and will have opted for low maintenance or not accordingly), and a delight for the eye.
Well-chosen quality materials and an inherently sound structure, emitting harmony and proportion, mean this garden will feel good, and will have been created with a great foundation, on which plants can be nurtured. New areas of interest can then evolve through all the seasons.
Copyright: Sue Walker. November 2006.