The Naughty Side of Garden Design
Another week and another garden plan with details bearing a striking resemblance to reproductive organs… male, female, internal and external. Either designers’ have subconsciously fertile minds, or there’s a little bit of nudge-nudge wink-wink going on… Will anyone notice? Will anyone dare comment? Even the great gardens of the land are not immune to a little suggestive design-work – take Alnwick Castle, Northumberland. Could the Duchess really not have seen the various bits of human anatomy picked out in rills, Buxus hedges and rose beds? (In the interests of science, we did ask, but her charming reply declined to comment on that precise point). However perhaps these suggestive details should come as no surprise – after all, history shows it’s not just perennials that romp through the borders. It’s a point of fact that the term coined by the Georgians for their early urban outdoor spaces was ‘Pleasure Gardens’ and by all accounts, they certainly were a little less innocent than feeding the ducks. In the words of Oliver Goldsmith, visiting in 1790:
“the illuminations began before we arrived, and I must confess that, upon entering the gardens, I found every sense overpaid with more than expected pleasure”. Nudge nudge. Wink wink.