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.