A Dream or a Memory
By Kevin Napora
From his book, “The Perfect Time to Garden”
On occasion, I have these incredibly vivid dreams where I can hear, smell and feel the places I am in. They are so precise that I really get confused as to whether I am reliving a memory, or dreaming something new.
I am Kevin Napora, a landscape designer with Salisbury Landscaping and my dreams are actually an important tool for me to create designs. A great deal of inspiration is required as I am put to the task of inventing hundreds of designs for new homes and renovations. From time to time I get stuck. I will get a client who wants a patio, sidewalk, retaining walls and perennials but has only a 20k budget.
Before bed, I tell subconscious “Dream Kevin” to pull some magic out of a hat and come up with inspiration. Sure enough in the middle of the night, I will walk through a fully landscaped backyard complete with birds twittering in the tree tops, and will wake up inspired with a fully formed idea.
Then there is the overly inventive side of subconscious “Dream Kevin” that creates yards for clients that I don’t even have. In the morning, I freak out because I am positive I forgot someone.
Was it a dream, or was it real? I end up spending a half an hour going through my calendar to make sure I have called and emailed everyone to satisfy my worry.
My most famous dream/memory was a walk I took with my friend Dianne. It was an exceptional spring day and we were walking in the area just south of the Cross Cancer. It was one of those walks where I am following her and she is following me. You end up just meandering all over the place wondering in the back of your head “Where is this woman taking me?”
The walk was awe inspiring (as in reality, that area is warmer than the rest of Edmonton, and so people can have plants that the rest of the city can’t grow). There was this one house with the most beautiful tree that I had ever seen. It had blue flowers on it, kind of a cross between a lilac and a wisteria. The flowers were a light blue and hung down from a high open crown. Another house had a very full tree with millions of pink candles sitting on the branches. And there were others as well on this walk; magnolias and plants with pink puff balls on them. I woke up gob smacked because it was so real. That day I drove all over that area looking for the trees because I was so sure it was real. Later I asked Dianne about it. And she jokingly replied, “None of those things exist. Dude, dial down your medication man!”
Years later, I still have never forgotten that dream. But the neat thing is some of those crazy Dr. Suess trees that I had invented in my dream that night do actually exist, and some of them are even in my garden today.
Kevin Napora – Master Gardener, Landscape Designer
Kevin believes in the power of nature’s aesthetic to inspire, create and motivate. After acquiring his degree in Horticulture at the University of Alberta, Kevin has spent close to a quarter of a century studying landscaping and designing residential gardens.