Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Too Kew - The Battle of Function Against Form - Part Two

Actually, I keep feeling bad about my little rant here.  Kew is such a gorgeous place, it should not be associated in anyone's mind with ranting.  But sometimes, you just feel so strongly about something, that you just have to say what is on your mind.  (And keep saying it until you figure out what it is that you REALLY want to say?  Yes!  That's the direction I'm taking.)

Anyway, here's a view from that most knuckleheaded of innovations, the eyesore of the Sky Walk (I'm sparing you the actual skywalk.)  OK maybe it's not such a terrible idea if it gives you another vantage point from which to enjoy the greenhouses.

But what I'm trying to say is that I prefer those old-fashioned kinds of WALKS.   The kind that you do from the ground.  That is, on the ground!

Because I'm inclined to think that it's from the ground that you get a better view of things like this.

and this.

And this.  (David Nash at Kew, closes April 14, 2013.)

Because the things that I come to look at at Kew come....OUT OF THE GROUND.

Or stay very much close to it.  Yes, I'm talking a very much ground level union of Form WITH Function.  Like this cat. So beautiful.  And it kills rodents too!  (High functioning!)

I'm inclined to think that if a place is so beautiful that it INSPIRES curiosity and desire to learn more (as Kew has done for me) it doesn't need to beat me over the head with knowledge via a bristling landscape of plant tags.  (Don't we have APPS and Audio Guides for that now?  And before them, libraries, and l-o-v-e-l-y garden catalogs and.....Martha Stewart!?)

Why, would I want my landscape to be messed about with?

At Kew I hear Nature speaking for herself.

Oh dear, oh dear - who's going to buy a book in the gift shop about alpine gardens and rockeries if they can just scribble the names of all the necessary plants with a Biro on their palm?  (That's what they used to call ball point pens in England:  BI-RO's.....Oh dear oh dear how am I going to make a beautiful picture if the picture plane is pockmarked and besmirched with BLACK BLOTCHY PLANTTAGS?  Photoshop????  Really?)

I do feel that the way of true LOVE is, first you fall.  And THEN you seek to know your one-and-only's name, and then, and then and then......to find out every little thing possible about them.  So much less mystery and romance somehow when you meet them with a plastic nametag plastered on their chests and a soggy paper cup in their hands. Know what I mean?  Isn't it possible that love takes root first with a drop of mystery and you quench that thirst for love..........with seeking............?

NOW.  What are they?  The pink flowers?  The name starts with a "C".  These are the for-real ones.  Teeny ones.  As Nature intended.  Vari-colored, with curling, mottled leaves.  (Not those horrid grotesque mono-chro-monster-sized franken flowers haunting your supermarket aisles the world over.)   Do you love them?  Do you care?   If you were to walk away from this post wondering, haunted, querying......hungry.  Wanting to know.  What they are called?

Would I have made my point?

*****  For previous Kew posts at P.P., click here


  1. I appreciate your rantings, someone has to do it, so that's YOU! Thank you MP, you're my girl.
    I'm thinking cyclamen, yes?

  2. c'est la saison idéale pour aller se balader à Kew garden, tout est neuf et frais!
    J'aime beaucoup la sculpture de David NASH. tu nous fais toujours rêver Claudia, xoxo!

  3. Superbe balade très verte, Il n'y a pas de fleurs à Paris en ce moment dans les jardins, j'attends avec impatience l'arrivée du solei et merci pour la découverte du travail de David Nash

  4. Reminds me a little of the Uluru/Ayers Rock debate in Central Australia.
    Went there 20 + yrs ago and was more than thrilled to walk around, see different angles from the ground, sit and draw and clamber up close where possible.... BUT DID NOT CLIMB. Eventually the indigenous people asked for it not to be climbed. Thousands of people had come by bus, climbed to the top, taken a photo and left. DONE !!! Boxes ticked!
    I'm with you and the element of surprise in NOT having everything labelled inch by inch all over the grounds. Keep it subtle anyway!