Monday, 7 July 2008


It was amazing being with people while their gardens were being judged. Some wanted to run away as far as possible (Send a Cow!). Some stood casually by and talked in a loud voice (Pulsations!). One lady veteran gave a newcomer advice: "Just don't stay anywhere near them while they're doing your garden. Don't break your own heart trying to listen." 

But what if the judges say something good? I wondered. 

"But if they do say something good, then you fix on that, you just get fixed on that. You don't want to hear either way, I promise you," she told me firmly. 

So here's my best image from Hampton Court this year: this is poor Jill Foxley, stressing herself through her garden being judged. 

When I read that she got inspiration for her "Spirits' Garden" by connecting with "the other side" I immediately had to go and see it. It turned out to be very sweet, and she was extremely nice. 

She had gone to seances and slept in haunted houses to seek inspiration for the garden. But I loved this image, which is her husband Simon (who also did all the landscaping...) giving her a hug while they wait for the judging to be finished. A thoroughly real moment with a touch of the kind of love and tenderness everybody wishes for. 

I exploit people for my own gain, do you see, invading their personal moments and broadcasting them on the internet!


The Garden Monkey said...

Did she speak to Derek Acorah though?

Utter twaddle.

emmat said...

No, but she had DAVID WELLS to open the garden, so, same difference.

I thought it was the silliest idea ever when i read about it, and immediately set off to see this silliness in the flesh. But actually she'd approached it in an interesting way, going around actually trying out spiritualism as a research project rather than as a total obsessional mentalism.

And she and her husband were really charming and enthusiastic and nervous all of which I find makes me deeply sympathetic.