Wednesday, 30 November 2011

When I saw this topiary garden on I thought Salvador Dali had been resurrected and was living in Costa Rica.  The landscape designer Evangelisto Blanco has been clipping these magical hedges in his own garden in the mountains for over 50 years now, a lifetime's commitment to this difficult form of gardening.  I have a personal preference for strong architectural forms in the garden and this magical landscape takes clipped box and privet balls or cones to a whole new level.  Blanco also hangs hand written signs in the space with messages like 'perservere and you shall succeed' and 'no one is better than another'.  I agree with his sentiments entirely.  I was planning a trip to New York next year but now I've seen this... ticket to Costa Rica please!

Images by Jamie Royer, Brian Costales and Matt Griess via Flickr

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Garden warfare

Artist Pete Dungey has turned his hand to a spot of guerilla gardening to highlight the problem of potholes and surfacing on roads in the UK.
'If we planted one of those in every hole, 
it would be like a forest in the road'
Quirky and slightly twee but it would certainly make me smile if I were to see one of these minature gardens driving through Edinburgh.  They would still need an element of maintenance though, you can call The Fifth Room for that one!  Images courtesy of inhabitat.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Something for the weekend?

Clocks going back, cold October nights and the first early frosts.  Generally for me that signals time for hibernation at home with the woodburner blazing and a bottle of red.  We won't mention X Factor.  However, I found these cocktail recipes and thought, what better way to use up the last of this year's herbs?  Dust your cocktail shaker off, get out your martini glasses and settle down in front of the telly with a Bond and Lovage (my personal favourite).  Yes, I've tried them all.

Monday, 24 October 2011

People in glass houses...

I was taken with this fully functioning lego greenhouse by Sebastian Bergne installed in Covent Garden's North Piazza for london design week 2011.  Designed to 'bridge the gap between toy and usable construction for the real world' the greenhouse was illuminated at night by LED strip lights and the plants inside literally breathed life into the concept.  Unique, quirky and, I have to admit, I would quite like one to grow my chillies in.  Images courtesy of designboom

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Blue, blue, electric blue

The Blue Trees is a social art action.  Through colour I am making a personal statement about the spirituality of trees and their importance to our very survival: trees are the lungs of the planet.
Colour is a powerful stimulant, a means of altering perception and defining space and time. The fact that blue is a colour that is not naturally identified with trees suggests to the viewer that something unusual, something out of the ordinary has happened. It becomes a magical transformation.
In nature colour is used both as a defensive mechanism, a means of protection, and as a mechanism to attract. The Blue Trees attempts to waken a similar response from viewers. It is within this context that the blue denotes sacredness, something reverential.
Trees are largely invisible in our daily lives, and it’s not until it’s too late that we realise how important they are to us both aesthetically and environmentally. Each year an area at least the size of Belgium of native forests is cleared from around the planet.
Yet while we do this we look at whether other planets can be inhabited, so we’ve got somewhere else to go once we’ve destroyed our own.
The colour used on the trees is biologically safe pigmented water. As an ephemeral artwork, the colour will naturally degrade and the trees gradually revert to their natural state.
-Konstantin Dimopolous, 2011

Images courtesy of the artist's website.  To a garden designer/builder with a long-standing interest in public art and sculpture, Konstantin Dimopolous' work and his use of the landscape ticks a lot of boxes for me.  A comment on the environmental state of our planet certainly but also a challenge to public perception of natural form, colour and place.  More of his projects to follow another day.