Posted: 27/05/2014 at 15:10
I think you are what would be described by a designer as a 'plants person'. Though I love certain plants and choose a plant because I like it I don't then place that plant in the garden just where it will grow best. I will often place a plant in a place where I will enjoy it, though it won't be where it will grow best. A plant in a garden for me is like a blob of paint on an artist palette and I will use that blob to create a picture, a story.
There's a distinction between a garden and an botanical garden which is simply a collection of specimens.
I think a garden should be an expression of the gardener. Now if that means a collection of plants as in a museum then so be it. What is wrong with that? Nothing, if that's what it is you want. Another good analogy for me to describe how it is from my perspective is to say plants are like words to the poet. Now one of my favourite words is saddle. Don't ask me why, I just like the sound of it. Saddle. Other words I like are 'Tuesday', Hemp, brick, cardigan, cellar, indistinguishable, bedraggle, spittle and crack. They're great words but I think you would get some pretty odd looks if you were to present that as a list, out of the blue, without any explanation and I don't think anyone would say it was 'Art'. I think to make that Art and it could though I don't think very good Art, it would need to be presented as such. We're getting into 'what is Art'. Which is a huge subject. Does your garden have to be 'Art'. I think so. I often remind myself not to forget the garden, in 'Wildlife Garden'. Does a garden have to Neat? No, Does Art have to be neat? Absolutely not!. You only need take Tracey Emin's, or not, 'My Bed', or Chris Ofili's Turner Prize winning 1998 Elephant dung. Is it neat? No, is it Art? Yes, Is it Aesthetic? Mmmm, I'm not sure but does it have to be? I don't think so. It should be only whatever you want it to be, it should say whatever it is you want it to say. Sod everyone else!!! Really! Why would you care? It's your garden, or it's my garden and I really don't care that the mother in law thinks it's a 'lazy persons' garden. Really? You want to try managing it if you think that's what's going on, anyway I digress….