Great landscapers of the past, building the fabled Hanging Gardens of Babylon, or the sublime Versailles, I am sure would have answered “Yes” without hesitation. A walk through Vaux-le-Vicomte, Powerscourt, Ryoanji, the Alhambra.. evokes the same response of awe and joy as any work of art, a feeling that something with passion and soul has been created.
Then throw the rise of Conceptual gardens at Garden Shows into the mix – they certainly provoke a response … they may be art .. but are they gardens?
At the heart of this debate is Anne Wareham, creator of Vedww and The Bad-Tempered Gardener, who has campaigned to see gardens restored to their place amongst the art and culture of a nation. She believes that if they are to be an art form, then they should be open to criticism too.
The debate will run and run – Comments I’ve seen on Twitter range from “My garden is to be enjoyed, not prepared as a piece of artwork..” to ” gardens – expressions of art through beauty and nature”.
I await the written report from the RHS debate “Are Gardens Art?” with interest, though apparently it concluded “emphatically that they are”. (Andrew Wilson).
Meanwhile, enjoy your garden this weekend … whether it be Nature or Art which wrought it!