Conceptualism and eliteism
|Mixed perennials - calamagrostis bought at Noel's garden|
I have to take issue with Noel Kingsbury and his attitude to conceptual art in his blogpost - there is far more to the work of Tracey Emin than her bed. There is a need it seems for us humans to create some kind of hierarchy - we find it so so difficult to accommodate the vast range of tastes displayed by our fellow humans. I have to admit that I struggle to find beauty in some gardens, but I try. In much the same way I try to understand and appreciate the art of both amateur and professional artists. But inevitably there will always be elitism because whole industries depend upon our insecurities and need to fit in.
|Dense planting - as dense as the planter|
|The disappearing 'lawn'|
I have been influenced by NP gardens mainly because I have had the privilege to visit the gardens of the 'Elite' and have at times stuck my ignorant head out and joined in the debates about gardens and garden making. I'm not a great fan of Piet Oudolf's Hauser&Wirth garden in Somerset. It is all a bit one dimensional in terms of height - but I did like the beauty of the decaying stems and heads of the perennials (I preferred the work of conceptual artist and late friend of Emin - Louise Bourgeois that was on magnificent display within the gallery at the time of my visit.) I have visited Noel's last garden in Herefordshire which I found helpful in that it clarified what I was trying to achieve in my small cloistered garden on the side of a hill near the Brecon Beacons. My garden has wet areas and small 'wild' areas influenced by the wet areas of his garden. I'm trying to encourage biodiversity in a small way.
Marc Owen marcsgardens.blogspot.com suggests in his blog that the ordinary garden maker has not taken up the ideas of perennial planting- perhaps there are more of us out there experimenting with perennials than either he or Noel realises ?
The ecological view of planting has mainly focused on bees and pollinators - and I agree with Noel that a garden has to do much more than just support the pollinators but it is a welcome start.
There is an interesting project under way at the National Botanic Garden of Wales called Growing the Future - they aim to encourage ordinary folk to garden in more ecologically friendly ways - find out more at botanicgarden.wales/science/growing-the-future
|National Botanic Garden of Wales trial pollinator seed mix beds|
I wish I was more articulate !