There have been two chapters in my working life.
Chapter One was law and technology. It was a life working in offices around the world, advising technology and business people how to stay on the right side of the law and the consequences if they didn’t.
Chapter Two is horticulture and design. It is a life divided largely between London and North Yorkshire designing and planting gardens for people who really appreciate what it is to have a beautiful garden to enjoy.
I thought that it might be fun to combine the two chapters of my life and design a garden which draws from both. So it was that I submitted a design to the RHS in December of last year to exhibit a conceptual garden at The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show this year. Despite the many submissions the RHS receives, and after much nail biting on my part, the RHS recently awarded me one of only eight places at what is the largest gardening show in the world, attracting 150,000 visitors each year and coverage on the BBC.
The Conceptual Gardens category showcases the most original, artistic and ambitious ideas in garden design. The garden I have designed is entitled ‘My Life in the Cloud’ and features a three cubic metre partially transparent box, partly obscured by Mountain Ash trees and a low wall. The box appears to float amongst a combination of altitude tolerant plants and soft, cloud like foliage. Natural stone steps on one side of the garden allow visitors a closer view of the box which is sealed and contains elements of my personal information such as emails, photographs and medical records.
The idea is to create something that is both beautiful and thought provoking. The garden seeks to show the balance between accessibility and openness on the one hand and, on the other hand, the need to keep some personal information private and inaccessible. ‘The Cloud’ is a reference to the remote locations where IT companies store our information and is an alternative to us keeping such information at home in a drawer, or on the computer.
I regard the decision by the RHS as a fantastic vote of confidence in me and the practice and I can’t wait to start work on creating the garden. After the show is over, the plan is to relocate as much of the garden as possible to the site of Medlar & Cob’s London studios overlooking the Thames Barrier.
This entry was posted on Sunday, February 27th, 2011 at 5:02 pm
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