You Read it Here First!

I’m a big fan of ThinkinGardens, the British website edited by Anne Wareham. While the bulk of the posts relate to gardening and gardens in England, posts also cover topics of wider interest. As the website itself says, it’s a website “for people who want more than gardening from gardens.”

ThinkinGardens isn’t modest or retiring, and neither is its editor. Both aim at controversy, or at least at generating discussion about gardens, garden design, garden practices and philosophies. The website is a compendium of writing that challenges assumptions and makes readers think. It also entertains.

So I am particularly pleased that a blog post I wrote for this site has been re-posted on ThinkinGardens.

You can find it here:  http://thinkingardens.co.uk/reviews/art-or-science-a-review-of-througham-court-by-pat-webster/

Why not read the article again? Or if you are a new subscriber, why not read it for the first time? And then let me hear from you. What are gardens for? After taking a virtual tour, do you ache to visit Througham Court or does it turn you off?

Would you rather see this…

 

Througham Court 2013-111
Pretty flowers drape over a pretty stone wall beside nicely curved stone steps, at Througham Court, England

 

or explore the meaning of this?

 

Unusually strong colours and a dynamic design characterize this viewing platform at Througham Court.
Unusually strong colours and a dynamic design characterize this viewing platform at Througham Court.

 

Or, like me, are you greedy and want to have the best of both?

At Glen Villa, my garden in rural Quebec, I want beautiful surroundings. And for most of the year, even when we are buried beneath huge piles of snow, I have them, in spades. Much of the beauty is natural, much is cultivated.

 

The band of muscari whips its way across the grass at Glen Villa. I call it the Dragon's Tail.
The band of muscari whips its way across the grass at Glen Villa. I call it the Dragon’s Tail.

 

But even the most glorious beauty is not enough. I believe that for a garden to be successful, it needs to mean something. It needs to go beyond aesthetics, to deal with questions that matter.

 

The sundial clearing is the culmination of an installation I made for Glen Villa. Titled In Transit/En Route, it raises questions about time and being present in the moment.
The sundial clearing is the culmination of an installation I made for Glen Villa. Titled In Transit/En Route, it raises questions about time and being present in the moment.

 

 

The American landscape architect Fletcher Steele said it well: “The chief vice in a garden is to be merely pretty.”

Do you agree?