Gardens [NOT] Illustrated. The 2011 Welsh Border Collection is Slightly Strange.

Welsh garden

Veddw aint on the 2011 Gardens Illustrated Welsh Border Garden tour?

How odd – it’s on the border of Wales and England and it truly impressed me and several others including Stephen Anderton (The Times)

Only rarely does one come across a garden so ambitious and successful as the one at Veddw House.

In 2004 Germaine Greer gave Veddw  a wrap of applause for its ‘expression to contemporary sensibility about conservation’.

It’s even weirder that the tour guide for this year’s Welsh Border Collection, Noel Kingsbury, has previously stated that this

.. is a garden that is very ambitious: it is intellectual and experimental, occasionally provocative, but for the most part beautiful and relaxing

For further weirdness please refer to the following link  -  Veddw Review (Noel’s detailed Veddw review, published in the November 2006 edition of Gardens Illustrated).

The designer Anne Wareham is a self claimed bad-tempered gardener. Wareham is known to insult the sensibilities of some garden designer circles.

Now I am taking a leap here but I am thinking perhaps her garden is not part of the Welsh Collection in 2011 for her outspoken comments?

Umm….. are cultural collections being edited on the grounds of an artist’s personality? Or perhaps something an artist has said?

Gardens Illustrated would you like to make comment?

Coming Soon: Anne Wareham becomes a pin up girl for Garden Beet

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Landscape Architect talking about design issues relating to landscape and gardens. View all posts by Garden Beet

13 responses to “Gardens [NOT] Illustrated. The 2011 Welsh Border Collection is Slightly Strange.

  • Anne Wareham

    I believe it was this which has produced this response –

    I have been assured by both the tour company and tour guide that the problem is not with the garden at Veddw, or indeed with my response to visitors to the garden.

    It is,I am told, because my “record of causing upset and discord has just caused too much damage”.

    • Elizabeth Buckley

      Firsty I would like to say that not including Veddw Garden in a recommended list of Welsh border gardens is to put it mildy a glaring omission. Therefore one is led to ponder why this would be the case. I can’t help but reach the same conclusion as Garden Beet, i.e. that its creator has ‘rocked the boat’ and as a result has become ‘persona non grata’. So what terrible crime has Anne Wareham committed? Maybe it is because she had the effrontery to suggest that in order to judge a garden one should bother to actually visit it?!

      Quelle horreur!

      Now in this day and age I am not so naive as to believe that any publication is totally impartial and unbiased; we all know that that there are agendas which are hidden by one or even seven veils. I would suggest that this particular omission speaks utter volumes about the petty, tit-for-tat attitude of the editors concerned.

      And for the record, having visited Veddw I can categorically state that its owner needs no warning sign. Anne is a gracious host who actively welcomes critique, intelligent dialogue and questions about her garden.

  • Graham Rice

    Anne’s “record of causing upset and discord has just caused too much damage”? So that’s how they react to someone who speaks her mind and is not afraid to criticise a garden or show garden if she thinks that’s what it deserves.

    I’ve not been to her garden at Veddw so I can’t enthuse about it (or not) myself. But this is supposed to be a tour of good gardens, not a selective tour of garden owners’ opinions.

  • James Golden

    So Anne’s comment offends CI and they banish her garden? As an American, I’m getting the distinct impression there is a British Garden Mafia. Don’t get on their bad side, or you will pay–dearly. Shame on Gardens Illustrated!

  • Cabernat

    The lack of comment from anyone from Gardens Illustrated just means that they know full well that they can’t! I (sadly) have not been to Veddw & I certainly would not go to any Garden on the word of someone who had just looked at pictures which I am capable of doing myself. They should move out of their nice comfortable offices and go and earn their salary!

    How do they know the garden really exists?!

    As for speaking ones mind, are they so frightened that they do not believe in themselves?

  • Anne Wareham

    Maybe I should add that Gardens Illustrated know Veddw well.

    They have even featured a proper review of it in the magazine –

  • FionaG

    I visited Veddw myself this past year and found both the garden and its owner to be provocative, interesting, and original. I wouldn’t have visited had it not been for a certain ‘buzz’ about the garden that was heard even as far away as the west coast of Canada. If this is an omission based on the garden owner’s personality, then GI’s tourists will be missing out. We need more humour and personality in gardens, not less!

  • Dirty Girl Gardening

    that is very cool… a new destination for me to lust after.

  • Arabella Sock

    I think the clue to some of this is in Elizabeth Buckley’s comment “MAYBE it is because she had the effrontery to suggest that in order to judge a garden one should bother to actually visit it?!” Yes, MAYBE. Or MAYBE not. There are other possible sides to this story that I have heard that are not to do with Anne’s criticism of the GI Illustrated article. I have no idea which of the sides of these are true and until I see actual evidence from any side spelling out exactly why Anne’s gardens have been left out I will reserve judgement. I have no vested interest in any side and I don’t really care that much either but I do find it rather worrying that a lot of people have jumped on the bandwagon of criticism of GI without knowing more details and that a one-sided haranguing still seems to be going on on twitter.

    I fully intend to visit Anne’s garden and see for myself what it is like although after saying this I might have to don a disguise. :)

    • Garden Beet

      Hey Arabella thanks for your comments – – - yes it is all one sided – well, come on then even it up with other possible reasons!! You may not care either way but I do ……

      Surely GI is big enough to handle this question – a quick sharp response could knock it all on the head. The post has been up for a while now – and I am still wondering why the garden was not included?

  • Metal Wall Art

    Wow that is so weird! I am very curious as to how the garden has been deemed intellectual and experimental. Is there some kind of magic spell in that garden that makes people to do things they shouldn’t? Haha it is a far-fetched idea but those words really fumbled with my imagination.

  • william martin

    Ahhhh….Anne and Charles’ ‘V’ (can’t spell it) seems to me to be a more than OK entry for any list/tour of worthy U.K. gardens even if it is just inside a foreign country (Wales) I have I might add visited the place a few years ago and my wounds are almost on the mend.
    All this talk of garden owners with a brain of their own is disturbing though and should be discouraged.
    William Martin

  • william martin

    P.S. (I love em)
    Whilst we have Ggggg I in our sights I would like to add some salt. GI recorded a talk I gave back in 2008 for the ‘Vista’ mob at the Garden History Museum (London) and cobbled together a podcast for their website. For some unknown reason it has been removed and all my wonderful words of wisdom are lost in time.(perhaps sent to Wales)
    If I remember rightly I did ruffle a few ‘Great Dixter’ feathers and that perhaps is a treasonable offence given GIs love affair with that place. (Dixter Illustrated)

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