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Fleur Shorthouse

Dear Gardners

I am creating an event called Philosophy Garden. It is a Philosophy, Storytelling and Arts Festival and will be part of Brighton Fringe. There is a garden that people can sit in between events. I want to plant things in my tiny garden at home which I can cut and take to the event. I also want to plant pots, and hopefully climbing things which I can transport and drape around pillars etc at the event. My question is, can you please advise me about what I can plant not to be ready in v early May? Thank you.



So you are asking what can you plant now-in your garden- that will be in full bloom in 10 weeks?

That is quite a tall order for anybody-do you have a budget?-a greenhouse to bring things on?-and what experience do you have?

Fleur Shorthouse

£100, a tiny green house, I have been gardening for many years but I tend to look after things that I have been given rather than plan/design.


flowering rose

I think you would of need to plant now but slow the process of the plants opening before you need them.I hope all goes well and you find the advice you need.


How many plants do you have in mind?


Gary Hobson

What flowers in early May? Wallflowers? Cherry blossom?

Pots of tulips? (would be nice, and might be feasible).

Any chance of borrowing any nice big green bushes or trees in pots from a nursery (in exchange for giving them some free advertising).

Could you get some art students to make some artifical trees, like theatrical props.


My winter pansies and violas are still in flower in early May. I dig them up to plant the summer bedding in late May and sometimes it seems a shame when they are still in flower.


I think it's far too late to be trying to produce anything form sowings or cuttings now so would try and source some plug plants of bedding plants that you can bring on quickly at home.  If you have enough money left, rhodos and azaleas should be in bloom then and can be grown in pots for easy moving.  

Gary Hobson

An azeala or two in bloom, in pots, would look nice - but anything except the tiniest would be expensive to buy. If you only need one for a couple of days then hiring (or scrounging) one might be an option.

Fleur Shorthouse

Thanks for your suggesions everyone this is v helpful, do keep them coming as things occur to you. I've never really gardened like this and had to think about what will be in flower at a very particular time of the year, (or there abouts). Its all been a bit zen up until now......


The one thing that is always going to be flourishing in early May is the lawn. Since it is philosophy as a theme; i.e. thought, how about grass walks for people to walk on, discuss and think.

Gary Hobson

Is the garden just a place where people can talk about more important matters, or is the garden itself the inspiration for the discussion.

Do you want to bring out the connection between gardening and philosophy. In the Italian Renaissance, gardening was thought to be a branch of philosophy. So Italian gardens contain statues, grotesque images and mythological references. You could have a statue of Venus (claimed by some to be goddess of gardens).

Many fairytales and stories involve plants and gardens. You could have a collection of quotations or illustrations on placards, from such stories. Jack and his beanstalk, James and a giant peach, Eve and her apple, the mistletoe and the Golden Bough, etc, etc.

Also, the plants that flower in May will all have some mythology and folklore associated with each one of them, which you could illustrate and explain. May gives its name to the Hawthorn, which should be in flower then. That's an important tree in Celtic beliefs. This painting by John Collier is titled Queen Guinevere Maying (she's surrounded by boughs of flowering May)...


...If you mean like THIS, than you will have a problem. You can read very fast the book : "Penelope Hobhouse - Gardening through the ages", 1992, during wait for growing the plants. HERE you can find some inspirations and THERE too, the third idea is maybe a little gamble away SO? But seriously I havn't some real ideas. Think, you have to buy some pods. Greetings, ThaiGer.


If your philosophers are into Nietzsche you could leave the garden empty.

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