|The dark side of Bournemouth Borough Council's planting scheme|
Before you ridicule me for adoring this garden, stick with me and I will explain why. Although firstly, having spent some time talking with the ladies on the stand on Monday, who seemed genuinely amazed and entralled that the garden looked so great, I need to explain a little about the garden.
Bournemouth, the land of holidays at the beach, donkey rides and ice cream, has a darker literary side which I for one knew little about. Mary Shelley wrote "Frankenstein" there and is buried in a graveyard there, where the sculpture in the centre, by Bournemouth artist Andy Kirkby, will end up after the show is dismantled. Robert Louis Stevenson also wrote "Jekyll and Hyde" there and the two planting schemes are mirrored by those characters in ways which will become apparent.
|Both sides of the planting scheme|
|Victorian style bedding at its best|
So why then, do I think this garden worthy of a blog post? Well its really simple. I stood in front of it saying"Oh look, seaside bedding" long before I knew that the garden had anything to do with Bournemouth Borough Council. It dragged me back to childhood holidays and days out at the seaside. The planting was stunning and all of the plants were produced in Dorset, continuing the tradition of producing your own plants for display. In essence, it was honest. And very beautiful.
|These peacocks were planted with amazing succulents|
My feeling with this garden was also that the gardener could get planting ideas from this garden that are actually steeped in the horticultural history of this country. Unfortunately due to budget cuts the vast majority of Parks and Gardens departments no longer exist in the way that they used to, meaning that our industry now really struggles to find young people good training schemes and has lead to a real lack of skills in horticulture in the UK. So this garden not only talks of the Victorian history of Bournemouth, but also of the horticultural history of the UK both in the history of gardeners and gardens. And when you look at this garden it is truly apparent that the loss of the Parks and Gardens departments throughout the country has lead to our outside town and city spaces being poorer and sadder places. It was amazing to see this piece of horticultural history displayed in such a fantastic garden. Thanks Bournemouth.
|Drifts of white|