Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Highlight at Chelsea

There were a couple of absolute highlights for me at Chelsea. One was the delightful artisan gardens and in particular Kazuyuki Ishihara's Satoyama Life. How can such a small garden be so beautifully balanced? Exquisitely composed and full of detail and yet completely devoid of clutter,it was a miracle this garden got to show at all given the destruction of so much in the tsunami. The garden deservedly received a gold medal, and I would not be surprised if it was voted as People's Choice Award. When you look at this picture it is almost impossible to tell where the garden begins or ends, never mind comprehend that it was not there three weeks ago, and in two weeks time there will be no evidence left of its existence.
And then of course there is Diarmuid Gavin's garden? I know for many people his concept would be deemed incomplete, untidy, and 'what on earth is it anyway'. But he poses a real question, and for me an answer. As our cities become more and more crowded there is less and less room for gardens. The only way therefore is 'up'. A modern Hanging Gardens of Babylon, if you like. So I take my hat off to him for creating this, and for Westland Horticulture for taking up the challenge, because it must have been an epic act of construction for the contractors. And there is some really good planting. The problem is that it was impossible to see it, unless you were able to get in there. So thank you Diarmuid for making us think again - that after all is what designers are all about.


  1. Thanks so much for the photos of the Garden Show - it's not the most accessible thing for me to try and go to so living vicariously through photos. It's a shame all the nice weather has been toward the end of the week so the flowers weren't in full bloom, but I'm amazed at the work that goes into these shows - absolutely incredible work.

    1. Mmm and having done a few though not at Chelsea it is a complete slog - but such such fun. Everyone helps each other and the camaraderie is wonderful. The unsung heroes of the day are the contractors who are simply amazing. I really feel very strongly that they should be up there with the designers. It is amazing how many designers never get their hands dirty constructing, planting or maintaining their gardens. If they did they might well design differently!!! Rant over!

  2. I love incomplete and simple. I need somewhere real and natural to retreat to (in comparison to the advertising agency, ADD, Iphone wielding, "For your convenience", world in which we reside)

  3. Tess, I completely agree. You would so have loved the Japanese garden - it was simply lovely. Definitely a place to chill out and not to have a phone.....