Hello everybody! It's been a while. Obviously, there have been some recent occupational changes that have kept me much busier, and what with loads of other things happening, I haven't had much time to write a blog post. However, a few days off over the Xmas period, a re-reading of the wonderful Oudolf story (Hummelo) plus reading Michael King (The Perennial Garden) and Mien Ruys has nudged me back up to my study and back on to blogger.
In case you didn't know already, much of my horticultural interest has always centred around the philosophical/artistic movements that underpin the changes we often see evolving, either within garden design or in how we choose to interpret landscapes. For example, you don't have to be a landscape academic to have noticed how radical changes in garden history have tended to either reflect the artistic movement of the day or have acted in a kind of counter rebellion towards certain social or cultural upheavals: the arts and crafts movement, for example, reacting against (what was seem as) the mechanisation of human artistic skill and ability. The industrial revolution in other words.
Long Barn - Where Vita first practised her art
So these days, whenever I visit a garden, I do so consciously trying to keep an open mind, questioning the overall effect the garden is having on me and whether that effect is by design, is somehow being shared by the majority of visitors, or being experienced by me, and me alone?
When studying literature many years ago, I realised that, to a very large extent, there is 'probably' no real intrinsic meaning to any particular work of art, and that our interpretation of art (be that literature, painting, sculptor, garden design etc) is only ever seen through a uniquely personal, deeply complex and multi-layered filter: its contemporary cultural and historical context; our own conditioning, views and opinions and personal biases. So, to look at a garden and to derive any meaning from its design is a very personal experience.
Of course, I am not so naïve as to believe that what he has achieved has been done in complete isolation: he has had his influences no doubt, and has probably been helped a little along the way also. However, I do believe that you make your own luck in this world and that he deserves all the praise and recognition he gets. He is a true living horticultural legend.
|Typical English Arts & Crafts border|
|Drifts of Piet's Molinia grasses at Scampston|
|Piet's Salvia river at the Lurie Garden, Chicago|
So anyway, if you do know of any information or good resources (books, nurseries or people - either at home or abroad)... then please do get in touch. Leave a comment or email. Alternatively, please feel free to pass this post on to anyone you felt might've been close to this movement or around at the time. If nothing else, then pass on my thanks to them.
'Thank them?'... for what for I hear you say! Well this sort of thing silly........!
Until next time. Thanks for reading.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!