Sunday, July 19, 2009
There is no getting away from the fact that it is difficult to photograph many wild-style plantings – like my garden. I sneak around with the camera and I always seem to end up with the yurt in the shot. It adds scale and a focal point. Without it, so much seems to be, well, green porridge. There is very little formal structure in the garden, and although there is a variety of foliage shape, texture etc. there clearly isn’t really enough to make obvious focal points, which photographs seem to need. And there aren’t great blobs of colour, as in many more conventional gardens.
The fact is that wilder gardens are very experiential – they need to be seen in three dimensions to be appreciated; the experience of actually being there is even more impossible to convey with a photograph than with a conventional garden. Which is frustrating as we have come to rely so heavily on photographs to convey our experience of gardens. Maybe video?
So many strongly structural plants look so gardenesque, or suburban, or exotic, by definition if you are trying to create a garden that fits into the Herefordshire (Wales/England borders) then so much of this stuff isn’t going to fit in. The ethos here is to create a garden which whilst very global in its plant origins belongs in a very unspoilt rural landscape. Things like Sanguisorba species or Telekia speciosa are consequently very useful for their ability to provide foliage structure/texture but not stand out like a sore thumb - or a Phormium in a hedgerow.