Wednesday, 10 July 2013

The Sock Guide to Conceptual Gardens 2013

I hope, dear Reader, that you understand the sacrifice I made to cover this year's Hampton Court Conceptual Gardens for your delectation.  It was hot, hot, hot!. I was hot, hot, hot! They were not, not not! No dear Reader - I can only say that for the most part they left me cold.

First up a garden with some flowers and a giant bottle of washing-up liquid.

Yes! It's the Ecover garden.  Who knew?

As it turns out, if we're going to be pedantic about it, the Ecover garden wasn't actually a conceptual one. Not that you'd have known.

Next we have a pile of fridges placed on some silica cat litter - the expensive kind that my cats insist on having otherwise they wee on the soft furnishings.

Last year a pile of televisions, this year fridges.  What household appliance will they do next year? I'm guessing ironing boards - they can have mine, I've seen enough of it. Actually they can have my iron and the ironing mountain too but they can provide their own cat grit.

Just as I was thinking this was all too jolly.. the conceptual gardens are supposed to be about death, ill-health and misery.. I came across this. Fantastic - the "We're all going to die" garden

I rather enjoyed the  "Up the ladder to the roof, we can see heaven much better" garden.  The younger of you won't remember that Motown song (or even Motown). It was one of my teenage favourites.

This wasn't conceptual I don't think but it was a mess. I never thought I'd see the day when I didn't like a Chris Beardshaw garden.. Tuesday was that day.

No idea what this was all about... death probably or some horrible disease.

The Bedsock did overhear a woman say "that's the garden with gonorrhea in it" to her friend. I don't think it was this one though and wasn't enamoured of the idea of looking around to see which one it was.

This was called Claw.

The space around it was entirely free of trolleyhaulers or indeed any viewers at all. Enuff said.

Another one about death. What's the matter with everyone?

I'm wondering if it was something to do with green burials.  I recently asked OldmaSock what hymns she wanted sung at her funeral as she is getting on a bit now.  She said she couldn't care less because she'd be dead which, to be honest, I thought was a bit selfish as it leaves all the difficult decision-making to myself and BroSock.  When asked about her funeral in general she said whatever was cheapest - which was quite predictable.  I'm thinking cardboard box to the tune of "Up the Ladder to the Roof".

What is this? No, really what is it? Totally unremarkable.

Diamonds and rust
Next we come to Tony Smith's offering.  You may remember last year I thought I'd seen his concept before as he just recycled black box to green box.  Well this year he just cut down his Diamonds and Rust garden (from 2011) and gave us this concept of Iceland complete with vaguely smoking "volcano" instead of rust stack!

Now I don't know whether Tony has ever been to Iceland but I have and I can tell you there is a lot of land, a lot of ice but not a SINGLE blade of grass! That is the point of the place - there is almost no vegetation, just rocks, ice, mosses and purple lupins which are invasive and shouldn't be there. There are almost no trees and those there are are so stunted that an Icelandic joke is

"What do you do when you are lost in an Icelandic Forest?"

"Stand up!"

Or in the case of Chris Beardshaw stand on someone else's shoulders.


Helen Johnstone said...

Well I am glad I didnt bother to go. Looks rubbish and depressing

Mark Abbott-Compton said...

Really made me chuckle i sometimes think Conceptual means Kings new clothes,glad i couldnt make it now.On lighter note cardboard expensive for coffin it to do with how strong they have to make then,friend wanted one went for willow very Pagan

Daubenton said...

Cardboard coffins are not the cheapest. Trust me I've done the research.
Last undertaker I used offered a range named after local villages, the cost being in relation to the poshness of the area.
I'm going for the "Canvey Island"

VP said...

The inner imp in me wanted to ask why they hadn't used iceberg lettuces in the 'Tip of the Iceberg' (aka fridges) garden ;)

Compostwoman said...

I thought about lettuces as well with the "fridge mountain"

I did like some of the gardens, though, but a lot left me very bemused as to where the garden aspect actually was?

Papaver said...

Totally hilarious, cannot believe these gardens are real (I know they are really) but the gonorrhea comment is probably the best comment on a garden ever.

Anonymous said...

The bedsock got in on press day!! :) I feel left out. The ecover garden is a vast improvement on what they did last year...

For OldmaSock go for Londonderry Air, that'll have the whole place in tears. Although I'm with her on the cheapest it can be. I cant think of anything worse than a very expensive box being buried around me.

Arabella Sock said...

Helen, Ha ha - far from being depressing felt considerably cheered by the madness of it!

Mark - interesting about the cardboard coffin, although I was thinking just a box would do - maybe one of the ones we get our wine delivered in. Willow sounds a viable alternative.

Daubenton! I love that "a range named after local villages". My nearest village is Fulking!

VP - I didn't actually have time to stop and read the titles of these things and it was too hot. Had the fridges been switched on it would have been a blessing.

Compostwoman - I did like some of them too - as you say they don't necessarily qualify as gardens though.

Papaver - I can only assume the woman was getting a plant name wrong but the Bedsock swears that is what she said!

Pianolearner - you can stop being jealous of the Bedsock. We didn't go on Press day as we wanted to go together and I wanted to buy plants and the stands aren't officially open for sales on Press day. I had forgotten just how annoying it is on public days mainly due to the trolley haulers!!