The Final Countdown

Only 10 weeks to go until construction starts on ‘Sundance’ the Humanist Garden at the Shrewsbury Flower Show. Following several weeks of research and designing, I’m now excited to be bringing the paper drawings to life.

Over the next 10 weeks l will be sharing different aspects of the gardens preparation with you (without revealing the whole scheme). Hopefully, this will give you some insight into the ‘behind the scenes’ activity surrounding the creation of a show garden, while also providing tantalising glimpses of the finished product.

But first a little about the concept behind the garden. The floral theme for this years show is Buffalo Bill and the Wild West. An interesting and challenging brief, especially when trying to reflect the ethics and values of humanism. Using the buffalo as a starting point l discovered some interesting facts:

  • The nomadic American Plains Indian tribes relied almost exclusively on the buffalo to provide food, shelter, clothing, tools and fuel.
  • In the 19th century the buffalo population fell from 60,000,000 in 1800 to only 750 in 1890.
  • Many Plains Indian Tribes faced starvation and were forced onto reserves.
    Southern Plains Indian tribes fared better as they supplemented their diet with subsistence farming.

It was from this that the idea of a community garden began to take shape. Providing food, water and shelter, the garden emphasises the basic necessities for life and promotes the values of human welfare, happiness and fulfilment, and is a celebration of the joy of sharing, companionship and creativity.

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On the subject of creativity; using a limited palette of yellow ochre, red iron oxide, turquoise and black and inspired by Native American textile patterns ( with a happy human or two thrown in) l have been busy transforming a rather large gourd.

More next week!
Carol Seager

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