“Places Of Change garden” at Chelsea Flower Show 2010

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

As I have already said in my visit report of the Chelsea Flower Show 2010 the “Places Of Change garden” was, in all honesty, the only show garden that really and truly spoke to me but then this is hardly surprising as recycling and reuse, and the woodland worker theme also, are all part of me and my background.

The great news is that the “Places Of Change garden” has been awarded a Silver Medal though I must say that, in my opinion, it should have had a gold one.

The garden had a number of themes, one of which was growing your own food, which incorporated raised beds, a greenhouse made from plastic drinks bottles in a wooden frame – a great idea and easy to recreate in any setting.

Another theme was that of a bodger's camp, complete with an open-sided log shelter with a turf roof, with two shaving horses, tent pegs, and other wares and tools.

The garden attached was full of what would be called weeds today but which all were ones used as flowers in cottage gardens and for food, such as Common Sorrel or Garden Sorrel (Rumex acetosa), often simply called sorrel and also known as Spinach Dock or Narrow-leaved Dock.

We have come so far from our roots – pardon the pun – that it is frightening at times and we must, and I am serious, return to those and reclaim the knowledge of wild edibles as much as of healing and cooking herbs that grow in the wild.

Without that knowledge we may be in deep you-know-what as and when the oil finally runs out and we need to look for food and healing once again much closer to home in the realms of Nature.

The same is also true to the crafts represented in the bodger's camp garden for which “Scruffy” was responsible, and I must say that a handmade clothespin work much better and last so much longer than one of those machine made ones with the spring, regardless as to whether they are made of wood or plastic.

The “Places Of Change garden” was a real tonic and I sure hope that many people will be taking inspiration home from that garden in particular.

My congratulations to all of those that made that garden com to fruition and “well done”, and that not only because of the silver medal. The “Places Of Change garden” simply is a great idea of many things, and all of them ideas that can be replicated in one's own garden and on one's own allotment.

© 2010