Eight years ago Doreen and I went to the Chelsea Flower Show. It was our first biggy, that is not counting purely local shows. For me the highlight of that show was a concept garden (a new concept for me!) called Tearman si, A Celtic Sanctuary. It's theme was Ireland, its history, folk lore, geography, myths and much else. I will not say too much more about it now, as I shall come to it again in another post I am preparing.
What struck me at the time of our Chelsea visit was how closely this concept of the concept garden (owch!) appeared to be related to the art installation. We have been to other shows since, and it has seemed to me that these concept gardens have become steadily more popular over that period of time and are now one of the most studied aspects of any such show. Yet inall that time I have never seen or heard them compared to the art installation. Until last Tuesday, that is. Each Tuesday The Independent publishes an essay and last week's happened to be on the subject of whether a garden can be a work of art.
It so happened that the following day we were off to The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show - and it further happened that I did not read the essay until after we had returned, but there was, as there was bound to be, the usual array of concept gardens there. One in particular struck me as being so like your common (or garden?) gallery installation as to be indistinguishable from it. It was called A Lost Loved Garden, it is the subject of the photograph above.
What it purported to be was a once much-loved garden that had fallen on hard times and become much neglected to the point where an antique iron bedstead languished among the aquilegia and red campion, whilst weeds were growing through its frame; the shed door hung off its hinges, and it was difficult in places to distinguish weed from planting. But that, I guess, was the point: the garden was reseeding itself, nature was taking over, restoring it, if not to its original plan, then to one of nature's own.
He's dumped his old love
will be showing off his new -
Tiger and his putters