Friday, 5 July 2013

Marvellous meadow or messy mankiness?

You may recall a few weeks ago at Gardener's World Live, that I was very taken with the Yorkshire Dales Millenium Trust Garden below.  Indeed, so were the judges and it received a silver gilt medal at this, an RHS affiliated show.

This set me to thinking yesterday as I wandered around the allotment, that beauty is not only in the eye of the beholder, but also in the context it is found in. Spot the difference between the photo above and those below...

Both beautiful, naturalistic and immensely welcoming to wildlife.  The difference? The Yorkshire Dales garden won a medal, and the allotment will proabably get an 'untidy plot' notice before the season is out.  Seems a bit mad doesn't it?

Maybe at a show, a bit of naturalistic planting is a relief from the landscaping and manicured meticulousness of many of the gardens, whereas at an allotment, nature unadorned surrounds the tended plots and their tenants are trying (often vainly) to hold back the tide which threatens at any moment to engulf their little patch of land.

Perhaps allotment committees should take a leaf out of the RHS judges' book, and put on a non fruit-and-vegetable hat when looking at the merits of a neglected patch? 

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