The International Garden Festival at Chaumont always provides food for thought.
The theme this year was ‘Gardens for the Century to Come’ which I thought was interpreted with more received wisdom than imagination and more negativity than optimism – but perhaps that’s understandable. Rising sea levels, global warming, growing food crops in a limited space were among the themes. A garden that both chilled and impressed was ‘ Le Jardin du Dernier Acte ‘, a French / Korean collaboration. The natural world was presented as a ‘tableau vivant’ of woodland, with the viewer seated, as in a theatre. The scenario being that over urbanisation had rendered the simple experience of nature into something that was a luxury afforded by a few.
I returned in September to go to a Night Viewing of the gardens, mainly because garden lighting has become so much more flexible with the introduction of smaller LED fittings that I am interested in seeing what effects can be produced by what. It was a beautiful balmy night and lovely to walk through the gardens but the installed lighting was not as sophisticated as I had hoped and some areas that would have been wonderful lit had been omitted.