Monday, January 31, 2005


paphiopedilum, 'crusty the clown' Hybrid.
Originally uploaded by andrewstenning.

Gardening is a great craft, it is a sort of alchemy - with many treasures to amalgam!, It is meaningful and gardeners have had a shared philosophy with artists for years. Most artists are gardeners and the natural world is POST POST MODERN with 12 dimensions.
In the UK last year this was revered by three important exhibitions. 'A Gardeners Labyrinth' at the National portrait gallery was a photographic record of artists and gardeners (Beautiful, Impassioned and personal). 'Art of the garden' at Tate Britian was an eclectic mix of art inspired by gardens, a good place also to do some sociology 'little middle Britian CHAV's next to the Hoxton FINS and Shoreditch BUNDLE. Outside an enormous cut-out photograph mounted on steel of a Paphiopedilum orchid by the artist Marc Quinn, this inspired the buy above which is my countdown clock for February, and is named for my post post modern indoor garden.
The other show IN-A-GADDA-DA-VIDA (in the garden of Eden) was not lyrical pastoralism but for me more electrifying and just as laudable as the other shows, The exhibition was joint vision by three YBA's, Angus Fairhurst,Sarah Lucas and Damian Hirst, It was the Eden of uncertainty, existence and a search for meaning, a highly interesting example of our garden today. When fragile beauty just arrives each of my working day's it's hard not to think about the state of play!, Gardener's have to be theorists like the artists and art and gardening have a monstrous bond, i would sooner see a Damian Hirst in my garden than a willow weaver from the bronze age any day, As artists like him get the point, good gardens like art are pragmatic and a labyrinth of insight, they also embrace a very important fact that WE ARE NOT DIVINE! so i am off to look again at Vincent,s sunflower's.
(organic seed's) THE best seed book ever!

some good things to look at.

Cy Twombly 'the four seasons'
Andy Goldsworthy 'snowballs'

some good things to do.
Name your plants after your favourite Simpson's characters, NASA have named a satellite after Lisa.

Coppice Hazel (a Neolithic horticultural practice).

A good place to visit.
MoMA New York City

Good music for the garden.
Beagle 2 by Blur (A platonic composition before it's time) Only on ITunes

some stunning words from Sitting Ball

'They claim the earth- the mother of us all for their own, The melting snow will rise out of it's bed and destroy everything in it's path'.

their should be a Sioux Hunkpapa in Congress!.

Sunday, January 30, 2005


Originally uploaded by andrewstenning.

Monday, January 24, 2005


ladybird 1
Originally uploaded by andrewstenning.

The 'social clique' in gardening and design [the hoity-toity robots] exhume the hoplessly out of touch creations that are to inspire the future of the environment,
These buffons like the white collar sabre rattling govenments are A . to be ignored and B . have a good kick up the posteriour!. As a low wage earner 'au naturel' the porcelain oxygen tent i am custodian to needs an ambulance not an obscure space pod or obedient planting scheme. These anti social spaces do nothing but nourish the designers fragile ego!. It was very sad this week to here many of the UK's public parks are under threat, because the park keepers can't keep up in our society for low pay, the same is true for me. Parks and gardens should be in the same melting pot as hospitals ,schools, the space race and urban sprawl!. As these are going to be some of the few places where nature will survive.Plans are in place to help us all ,600'000 double glazed, gas heated boxes with a 3*6 feet garden covered in wood chip! (this would make me very ill and i find it highly patronizing).i would lose my ID!. Sorry to sound a peddler of doom, But why design in such an anti social way?.
I do however feel a bit positive about the future and think out of desperation a renaissance is about to happen,( the ambulance is late , but it's on the way!) As a species we have been interrupted, miscast and disaffected, some still don't GET the point of gardens and green spaces, they don't know what it's like to be one of natures millionaires, How the environment in it's clandestine way can inspire, have an effect on society that can make your jaw drop!. The landscape is not just about aesthetics, you gain personal strength in your mind, well being and a good understanding of your place on the planet.It's something highly important to everyone and a cure for today.
It is exciting to see architects and new thinkers with the same vision, As i have said in the past the earthships are a good indicator to the future,(link earthship on right) Also the designer Wayne Hemingway is a forward thinker, in a respose to this housing crisis he is creating environmental quirky visions of the future, which are inspired by his childhood memories of a vanishing community spirit. The future is here and we have to use it.We must be part of the nature like the animals we are and not anthropoidsaurian's! we will look and learn from nature as it will win!.

A good book to read.
Nature Cure
by Richard Mabey
ISBN 0701176016

A good thing to look at.

A good thing to buy.
Paphiopedilum (ladys slipper orchid)
Freudians will love this flower which is beond explanation.

Sunday, January 23, 2005


Originally uploaded by andrewstenning.

Monday, January 17, 2005


Originally uploaded by andrewstenning.

Ladybird Coccinella 7.punctata

One in five of all living organisms on our planet is a beetle. the one above is one of 4.000 different species native to the UK. This 'Lilliputian' all terrain vehicle is scrutinizing a new landscape and fighting a war on 'Terra', One that would fit into the Kafka image of the creature,(The garden in January), A garden that is restricted in it's quota, and is 'hell for leather'metamorphosing into part of spring, This shift in the season is not only a danger to the ladybirds, plant seed production plummets in earlier flowering, and you don't have to be an ecologist to notice this big move and WHY? it is happening. This Spring or sort of, the UK is going to be doing some phenology (nature observation).
The BBC and the Woodland trust are going to hold the first ever televised seasonal event.- (a comprehensive study of the British spring). Bumble bees, frogspawn, ladybirds and plants are to be recorded to prove the point that the early spring is not a freak event but part of a new seasonal pattern, and at this rate of change many native species are to become design classics. We should have concern!, As small changes and destruction on the macro will lead to vast immovable transformations to our planet.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Hamamelis intermedia (witch hazel)

Originally uploaded by andrewstenning.

One of the odds and ends about my job is the people i encounter,The good outweigh the bad and most of the gardens individual and engaging. The eclectic mix gives me a good gauge of english eccentricity!. The exeptional clients are the thinkers,artists,actors,writers and musicians, they are free of pomposity and have the individual and enchanting characteristic of being themselves, the gardens of these people have a real sense of place and have inspired!. As the gardener i can cohere to their enthusiasm of the witch hazel and the compost ect...things that can't be bought from Asprays and like in the view of Rousseau are priceless and high above the car-crash that is the schedule of our time.
The snapshot above is a frozen moment of color,smell and tenderness a plant that opens the doors to spring and is the most utopian thing you can grow. Free of pretension, deciduous, slowgrowing and sometimes overlooked. But having the individual characteristic of being it's-self.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Blue winter pansy

Originally uploaded by andrewstenning.

The Industrial Revelation'

The Industrial Revelation
'Siliconus rex and the silent spring'
January 10th 2005

"Natural processes and designs will finally be the standard to which we aspire"

'Michael Conrad'
head of bio computing group.
My extraterrestrial terminus (the one with the half eaten apple on top) has become unsociable, As a Darwinian i do not read too much into the symbolism of the logo, (the fanciful idea that computers don't go 'tits up' is something for the hereafter). I do nevertheless think it's carte blanche that they do,but that's another suspicious story. As a creative the technological world of Photoshop, Illustrator and office are immeasurable, like the link between science and nature! So the local library is where it's at.
I have been reading a book called Biomimicry by Janine M Benyus, The book highlights the fact that my G4 powerbook is nothing in comparison to my garden (a G100 with knobs on)!!!!!!!!!!.I have added a link to 'Biomimicry' to this site (DESIGN FUTURES) my only hope is that this maverick science has not come too late! i look forward to seeing the banana and the (Heliathus Maximilianii) sunflower at the fuel pumps, and working on a computer run by photosynthesis at the speed of light.
In the more altruistic pastoral world and the G100 organic powerbook we are having a silent spring, The 'GUT-LESS' gardeners miss this ambiguous move in the season, not the most prodigal but sanguine none the less. All the bulb planting and blisters from the autumn are to be revolutionized by a systematic display in natures overture to spring, Along with the black gothic outlines of beautiful trees are the aromatic shrubs. Adding to the cold air are the Hamamelis (witch hazel) a touchstone of hope for me, along with the Mahonia and the not so obedient Snowdrops, plus i can smell the grass again and the Pansy's are blue but laughing. Things in the garden take on a hightened smell in the winter this 'niff' is a BIG stepping stone to warmer days, and a new bloody computer (Apple of course).

POINTS TO NOTE................

. Feed the birds
. January 23rd BBC Radio 4 gardeners question time talks to british plants-woman and maverick Beth Chatto (click on the link to listen)
. Also my photographic work has been updated. (click more andrew stenning photographs) under the photo set on the right. You can now view a slide show of Spring Winter and Autumn by clicking on the sets (click view slide show)....
Photographs and text copyright 2004 andrew stenning

Sunday, January 09, 2005


Originally uploaded by andrewstenning.

Thursday, January 06, 2005


winter but
Originally uploaded by andrewstenning.

Revolutionary new alchemists drawing on 3.8 billion years of evolution. (studies natures models for inspiration to solve human problems)

Monday, January 03, 2005


Originally uploaded by andrewstenning.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

PAR logo

Originally uploaded by andrewstenning.

Plant a row

Plant a row for the hungry

1st January 2005

Plant a row for the hungry (PAR) started in Anchorage in the garden column of Jeff Lowenfels, He asked gardeners to plant a row of vegetables for ‘Beans Café’ an Anchorage soup kitchen, It now propagates more than 1.3 million pounds of produce generating meals for over 5.5 million needy recipients.
Across the USA community gardens, schools, businesses and garden clubs plant rows. This open-handedness has great effects on the community and is collaboration for all.
, And PAR is self-governing which cuts out the tubby red tape!
As anyone who grows vegetables knows you get a period of OTT, Think what this yield could do! PAR is an armistice for precious gardeners and an end to the liturgy of best in show.
We can be a bit stuck in tradition in the UK when it comes to gardening and I have been inspired by the vast community garden schemes in urban America all supporting PAR.

(Green thumb community gardens New York)

Originally a response to the city’s severe financial crisis during the 1970’s,devastated communities throughout five boroughs got a rush from a tranquillizer, derelict vacant lots of land took on amazing renovation not just into pretty gardens but important green spaces with educational workshops and initiatives to grow food for hunger.
We all have soup kitchens near buy and we are all now more than ever in need of ‘Chicken soup’ and organic produce is currency, Farmers markets are held everywhere the simple pairing of cash for crops plus the importance of community progression could contribute to much needed efforts throughout the developing world (long term).
The garden writers association developed PAR and its success depends on generosity. As gardeners we can all dig for victory and make a difference worldwide.

Photographs and text copyright 2004 andrew stenning