Monday 30 September 2019

When art does not enhance the garden

The Chihuly at Kew is generally a masterpiece - see earlier post - but there was one part of it that really disturbed me.

Japanese gardens, as we know, are designed as one integral piece, and are works of art in their own right. Rocks are placed to be mountains. Different gravels form rivers and streams, or bolder strewn borders. Moss makes for painterly covering. A limited palate of well sited and well trained planting gives interest year round. It is an ancient art, practiced by masters and mediated over daily.

Japanese gardens are a joy to behold if you sympathise with the aesthetic. They can take your breath away. But what they do not need is an intrusion of alien colour.

I found the placing of coloured glass spheres at Kew so out of keeping as to be garish, so disrespectful to the garden as to be offensive. They were simply otiose and should have found a home elsewhere.

There, I've said it - quite a mis-step that made the garden look like a game of Disney marbles.

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