Wednesday, November 17, 2004

‘Design pioneers and the shock of the old’

To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves.
- Mahatma Gandhi

A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt

Nature, Culture- Fusion.

‘Design pioneers and the shock of the old’

We are pushing forward in garden design like there is no tomorrow!

I consider my first steps on earth very fortunate they were spent in a Sussex farmhouse with a mature country garden, both my grandparents the gardeners and me the novice, the soil was worked vegetables grow and consumed and plants and tree’s carefully nurtured into beauty. The relationship with this garden was both physical and intellectual; it was a space with soul and a place for consolation I was raised on ‘organic’ food.
My grandfather had seen [like many others of his generation] some of life’s horrors, He was a strong quiet man and is loved to this day, the garden he obsessively worked at day and evening was a distraction from his experiences, the only time I saw him cry and swear was one remembrance Sunday, I was about fifteen and we were in the garden, ‘Why don’t you talk about what happened in the war?’ I asked his quick and stern reply was ‘Because I saw a lot of fucking dead people’. The emotion of that minute lives with me to this day He could get lost in that garden and heel his emotional scars. This is what gardening does, The aesthetics of a garden mean nothing without love, time, memory and nature and garden design in the united kingdom is at the moment dead, I look at the gardens at London’s Chelsea flower show each year they are beautiful and highly impressive ‘(perfection) and pretension’ go hand in hand. There is no lifeblood, sweat and tears and no granddad, Highly stylised they are just pretty sets. You can’t relate them to beautiful art as that they are not. Most of the designs are a pastiche of great artists work and not going anywhere.
However one of the most exciting things about the future of garden design is due to the growth of the Organic movement, as we further shift into century twenty one and world issues dominate we need somehow to come together again, and community gardens do this.
I was excited to see a proposal for the ‘Ground Zero’ site by the New York based Green Guerrillas with Michael Ableman and Martha Tyson, Architect. The design is an urban farm and memorial garden at the World Trade Centre; Individuals can donate handfuls of earth from across America building a garden from soil of the entire nation. This garden will be worked and loved provide food and most importantly be contemplative. It will have that vital connection needed in gardens real people real lives and real passion! And granddads by the dozen. I look forward to visiting the Green Guerrilla gardeners in 2005; they have created a fantastic unique movement with community gardens from East New York, East Harlem to the south Bronx. The gardens are vibrant, educational and grow food for hunger relief. people are encouraged to volunteer to help, If you are interested you can find more info on the Guerrillas by clicking Green Guerrillas on the right links. So if garden design can touch everyman’s lives then we are pushing things forward however don’t expect to see this at the 'greatest flower show in the world' next year.

Photographs and text copyright 2004 andrew stenning


Blogger Brother Roy said...

Horticultural Society

October 4, 2005 at 4:58 PM  
Blogger gardenideas said...

Have you ever seen Asparagus this BIG
They grow up to 15in long and 2in wide.

October 8, 2005 at 1:18 PM  
Blogger Stan said...

Do you want to grow your own House Plants, Flowers, Trees and Shrubs for FREE....Grow them to landscape your yard, grow them for fun and for profit....Growing small plants in your backyard is one of the most rewarding things you will ever do in your life. Not to mention the money you can make. Getting started in this home based business is really easy. All you have to do is start rooting cuttings of your favorite plants (I'll show you how to do that), and you are off and running. Any time you have a few extra minutes just stick a few cuttings. Before you know it you will have thousands of plants valued at several thousand dollars.

December 13, 2005 at 10:10 PM  

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