I've galloped around the world for the last three years looking at gardens! And to be perfectly frank, I knew nothing about them when I first started. Lack of experience meant that I simply didn't know the difference between a good and a bad garden; certainly couldn't understand the basic principles of planting and what makes a border work; and as for naming a plant ... you might just as well have asked me to give the Latin names for butterflies!!
|Wet-suited scarecrow at Knightshayes, Devon|
But that's about to change, thanks to Anne Wareham of ThinkinGardens and other gardening gurus, who have made me realise that it's not helpful writing exclusively about good gardens. The time has come to write about the bad ones too so that visitors don't waste their time looking at pathetic planting or bad design. Worse too are the gardens that trade on their history!
I've certainly seen bad gardens in my time, but have always chosen to ignore them. So my New Year's resolution is to get real and start saying what I think! And, for my first rant of 2012 I'm picking on the National Trust's apparent obsession with scarecrows.
I've seen them all over the country in the last 12 months and am wondering why so many of their properties feature these creatures - I very much doubt they scare off the birds and, if they are designed to improve the way the garden looks, I hope my readers will let me know what they think.
|Scarecrows at Standen, West Sussex|
|Aquaman scarecrow at Trengwainton, Cornwall|