Showing posts from November, 2011

Galloping Gardener Choices 2011 - Great garden memories Part I

We're getting to that time of year again, when garden visiting here in the UK is becoming harder - winter's on the way and short of looking for good frosty scenes, there's not a lot to see ... although I will be going in search of good glasshouses and winter gardens in the next few weeks. So as we hurtle into December and I contemplate my Christmas tree, I'm planning to spend this month reflecting on some of the wonderful gardens I've been lucky enough to see this year.  January is always a tricky month for gardens in the UK - there's not a lot to see except frost and snow, but one of the places definitely worth visiting is Sir Harold Hillier Gardens in Hampshire. It has a wonderful winter garden and many fine trees. This shot was taken early in January this year, and shows just how much colour you can achieve in a winter garden if you plan ahead with your planting. February is another cold and grey month here, when I head off to work on my Udaipur hospital proje…

Postcard from Florida - Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Weather is here and wish you were wonderful! This is probably my last trip to Florida, so I wanted to reflect on the garden that has given me the most pleasure here in the last five years - Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota. Renowned for its orchids, and fantastic collections of epiphytes, there is always something in bloom there. I shall definitely miss my forays into this wonderful garden, but hope that other readers will remember to visit if they're anyway in the area.

Almost Wordless Wednesday - Nek Chand's garden people

This is my third posting on Nek Chand's amazing Rock Garden in Chandigarh, and I make no apologies for giving this remarkable man so much coverage here on my blog! I've been trying to visit this garden for the last five years and shall definitely return next time I'm in India, because I know that no number of visits would ever reveal all the secrets of this extraordinary place.  It's not just about the architecture, or the remarkable story of how this garden was developed, it's Nek Chand's incredible figures that make this place so unique. This is a magical kingdom, filled with thousands of people created from household waste products - an insight into how their creator sees the world.  At every turn another figure will catch your eye - be it a soldier, dancer or mini warrior, staring out at you. There are thousands of animals too - monkeys, tigers, dancing bears, camels and elephants. And it's quite extraordinary to think that Nek Chand spent twenty years wo…

When rubbish makes a garden unique! Nek Chand's Rocky Wonder II

When you arrive at the Rock Garden in Chandigarh, the first tiny taste of what awaits you are the sculpted water birds adorning the entrance wall (above). Arrive on a Sunday as I did and you will queue for an hour to get in, because the garden has become as popular with locals as tourists, but visit on a weekday and there is hardly anybody there. Nek Chand started creating this magical kingdom over 60 years ago, just as Chandigarh was under construction. He has worked here ever since, and now aged 86, he continues to visit every day, and is completely unaffected by his international celebrity status. Nek Chand arrived in Chandigarh in 1951 - he was just 27 years old, newly married and, like many of his fellow countrymen, still reeling from the after shock of Partition in India. The ultra-modern city, designed by Le Corbusier, was under construction and was symbolic of change in a country that was shaking itself free of British Imperialism.       Chand studied the maps of the new city an…

Garden Wonders of the World! Nek Chand's Rock Garden, Chandigarh

In all my garden travels, I have never before seen a garden like Nek Chand's Rock Garden in the visionary city of Chandigarh, north of Delhi in India. I was lucky enough to spend several days there and to meet the creator of this extraordinary Garden Wonder of the World. It's an amazing combination of architectural and artistic talent, but is the work of a single man, who worked for several years without anybody being aware of his endeavours.  The story behind the Rock Garden is so unusual that it will take me several weeks to walk readers through this wonderland, and as our gardens in the western hemisphere take on spectral winter forms, I shall feature both the gardens and the sculptures that Nek Chand has created out of recycled rubbish. It is an incredible story and I hope you'll enjoy it! But words alone cannot do this tale justice, so much will be told by the pictures you see. The city of Chandigarh was designed by the Swiss architect, Le Corbusier and is the capita…

Magical Monday! Too long since last posting!

No postings for nearly two weeks, but worry not, I've just visited one of the most amazing gardens in the world and will be ready to tell you all about it in the next few days, so watch this space!!!