Expressing the soul of the garden

At what point does an idea cross into the uncanny? I’m not really creative in that way, but I can tell that this isn’t going to end well. My son Mark recently won a garden design competition, and I’m really happy for him, but now he gets to decide what kind of landscaping he wants as a reward. Some guys are coming from Melbourne to sort our landscaping needs, and plant any trees we want. Great, fine, but the theme my son has chosen? Humans. Everything has to be shaped like humans.

I should’ve known, him with his art projects. And he’s seventeen, so I suppose he can make whatever decisions that he likes. I’m not sure I want him turning the family garden into the set of some macabre horror movie. The garden landscaping guys already showed us a mock-up of how the ground cover roses are going to look like a face. The designs are getting more involved as the process continues. It started with a row of hedges shaped like people in…odd poses. I’m not sure what they’re supposed to be doing, but it looked to me like they were in pain or trying to escape from something. I’ve been assured that the poses are ‘artistic expression’. I can’t say I know much about art but I know what I don’t like.

Once you get through the horror hedge, there’s a huge mural of a gaping face made with boulders, retaining walls and brindabella roses. Oh, and there’s a dip so you can see the face quite clearly from the top of the ridge. Pass around that piece of garden art and you enter what he called the ‘sanctum of expression’, basically a small maze of very large hedges that have been carved with faces, body parts, half-people who look like they’re trying to escape the garden. It could all be in my head, but maybe I’ll have another look around Melbourne to try and find gardens that may look similar. There must be some garden landscapers with more mainstream ideas.

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My little gardener loves flowers

My five year old daughter is quite the adventurer, we always have to keep an eye on her or she will disappear. On the weekend my wife went out with her friends and I was home babysitting. I had spent the morning playing with my daughter and had done a great job of keeping her out of trouble. When I needed to go to the bathroom, I gave her very clear instructions to stay where she was. I was gone for no longer than two minutes, but when I came back, my daughter was nowhere to be seen. I quickly noticed that the door had been left open, and soon afterwards heard some cries coming from outside. Expecting her in the garden playing with the dog, I rushed out to find my daughter had cut a large hole in our hedges. We had just had the garden landscaped and now the hedge a huge hole the shape of my daughter. My wife and I thought a lot about the kind of garden we wanted for ourself and for our child to grow up in. My daughter simply adores the idea of fairies and was adamant that our new garden had bright gladiolus flowers to attract the magical creatures. We planned the entire garden around this idea of magic and colour. It was a bold idea for the garden landscaping, Melbourne had nothing like what we had planned I was sure of it.

I had lived in the house for over ten years and the garden hedge had been there when I moved in, replacing it had never been very high on priority list so we planned around it. Now, of course, I would have to make some decisions. My wife and I had talked at length about putting in outdoor pavers, friends had them in their gardens to make a path. Perhaps if we had put in the pavers my daughter would have followed the path instead of diving through the landscaping. Apparently, my daughter had decided to go looking for faeries and had fallen through the hedge. She had put too much force into her landing and had fallen right through. How I did not hear the crash is beyond me, but my daughter’s cries were very quiet. She had disobeyed me, and was afraid that if she called out for help, she would be in trouble for not doing as she was told. Needless to say, I was just relieved to have her unharmed. The garden landscaping could be fixed easily, ground cover roses grow back after all. I told my daughter that I would tell her mummy that I had fallen through the hedge, she giggled at the thought.

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