Friday, 3 June 2011
Design or participation
I have been getting more interested in the design and planting of gardens and when they announced that they were allowing the staff to design the garden I thought I would go along. Sadly at the first meeting it became obvious that there was a huge range of ideas and that it was going to be designed by committee. I am sure anyone reading this knows the importance of having an overall picture of the garden, it even applies to a collection of pots. So the thought of there being no over-all scheme, or person in charge, filled me with dread. Sure enough now the garden is almost finished it is not pretty, some of the planting is not very interesting and I can't help feeling that we missed an opportunity.
But the strangest thing has happened, the group of staff that have given up weekends, hurt their backs, and got their hands dirty building the garden, have had a great time. People who have not got a garden, have never grown plants have designed raised beds and are looking after them. There are flowers, a veg patch, and plants that just don't go together. Yet no one, (apart from me) seems to care, in fact they love it. There have been compliments, you can not get a seat at the tables which are used all day and the powers that be want to green more areas.
The plants are happy as well. The tree ferns have thrived, and the bamboo is going to be a monster. I can't wait to see how big these new culms get, they are so much chunkier than the existing ones as you can see.
I still want to ask if people are looking at the same garden as me, but I have also realised the power of getting involved and having green space around. Does it matter that the garden is not all it could be? Not one bit. Though it pains me to say that, and don't expect me to say that in relation to any other garden. But in this case people seem so pleased to have some green to sit among, and just to have the chance to garden that they don't notice the haphazard nature of the green.
Who knows with time, I may be able to bash the flowers out of their heads and get them to appreciate the beauty of proper plants. There are already signs a few a turning towards the more spikie side of gardening. I am pleased to say we get the most comments about the rockery.