Friday, 27 June 2014

Garden Reviews

Changing times for me as a garden visitor, and I find myself these days less drawn to writing reviews following a garden visit. This is in part due to the lack of time to sit and type up an honest review, and also due to my acceptance now that any garden as I experience it wouldn't have been created purely for my pleasure; it will be a creation formed with any number of constraints.
Funds available to the head gardener directly effect a gardens development and maintenance. Historical precedent can play a huge part, especially with heritage and listed gardens - this can, but doesn't always restrict the freedom to experiment with gardens. Knowledge and consistent interest of people on site, (and not just the gardeners) and of course passion to want to see a garden develop, or be the best that it can be.

Of the gardens I've managed, not one of them has ever been finished completely - there is almost always something else that needs doing. I've been on the receiving end of praise and criticism for my gardens, and sometimes; the reviewer hasn't the slightest idea of the challenges, constraints imposed, or the obstacles navigated in the production of any particular area. Of course, when the review is positive, it is always taken with pride, even if it is na├»vely produced. However, when a poorly informed review is negative, it can undermine achievements and ruin moral amongst hardworking folk.

Naturally, many gardens open to the public are described on leaflets and in guide books, and in these instances, reviewers can judge if the garden relates to the description - and review accordingly. However, if little information is offered to a garden visitor, or time isn't taken to speak with those who can accurately introduce the garden, then how can anyone fairly critique a garden or write a review?   

All these and more play their part in my new reluctance to review gardens. I'm now happy to let other folk do that.Therefore from here on in, where garden visits are concerned, I'll simply be posting about the stuff I find interesting, relevant and inspiring. This should make future posts more useful both for me and anyone who drops by. Let me know what you think!


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