When Is a Garden Not a Garden?

Looking out through the French windows this morning on another rather grey and uninviting addition to the increasingly unchanging repertoire of grey and uninviting days, I couldn’t help notice that my outside area is resembling a battlefield rather than a garden. Where there should be order, there is chaos, where there should be growth, there is … er… none. This I must address, and very soon before the great gods of gardening (or Drew and Dick as I like to call them) come down on me like a ton of ornamental patio bricks.

In the meantime, it is comforting to think that I am not alone and there many gardens out there that are not really gardens at all. Do a pile of sand and some stones make a garden? (see the main picture)  I mean, in America they call gardens ‘yards’ whereas in the UK yards are places out the back without lawns, just stone or concrete, but many people pave or deck their front gardens and still call them gardens and in London, increasingly, people have front gardens that are actually now miniature car parks. It’s very confusing.

So here is my short, (and it is very short as is my attention span at the moment) sweet and silly list of Gardens that are not gardens at all.

Covent Garden. OK, so it may once have been home to fictional flower seller Eliza Doolittle, ‘Gaaaarning and ‘Eeuuooing ‘ all over the place and making a mockery of Professor Higgins’ guardianship of the English language and it may have been a garden market that bloomed, blossomed and simply heaved with plants, flowers and vegetables that would make Greg Walsh go ‘Whwoarr!’ But it is no longer anything to do with gardens or gardening. It is more at home to happy tourists, jugglers and firefighters on unicycles and busy hipster types buying designer clothes. Oh, and those people sprayed with silver paint who make a living by standing still for ages looking dead and only performing any kind of simple action when someone puts some money down. Rather like all the shop assistants in the area.

And what about…Madison Square Garden in NY, NY? That’s not a garden either. It’s an indoor sports arena famous for basketball and boxing.


"Waddya mean it's not a garden? That makes me so ANGRY!"
“Waddya mean it’s not a garden? That makes me so ANGRY!”

It has been home to some of boxing history’s most famous fights, including Muhammad Ali versus Joe Frasier in 1974 and Joe Louis versus Rocky Marciano. Yes. Madison Square Garden wants to be a contender but it’s no cigar. It’s not a garden. You might as well call the 02 the 02 Patio or call Wembley Stadium The Wembley Way Window Box. Nonsense. Maybe it was a garden once but there are no flowers there now, only very fit men in shorts. So, actually, what’s not to like? Honourable mention should go to the Mai in 1974 when George Foreman fought against Ali. It apparently thought it was, or was in, in a jungle at some point but it wasn’t. The Americans have never been too precise with their geography.

The Garden of England. Minus tacky gnome, rusting car chassis old sofa
The Garden of England. Minus tacky gnome, rusting car chassis and old sofa

The Garden Of England. It’s not a garden. It’s a whole county. No-one could cut all the grass, weed the plots or even walk across the lawn in an evening. It may be a lush and green part of the country that is responsible for providing much of our wonderful fruit and vegetable produce but that doesn’t make it a garden. Gardens need to be a bit smaller and there has to be a shed you can reach without a long and expensive rail journey. So there.

Anyway. That’s my way to while away a couple of hours on a grey Monday when I should, by rights, be doing something about my garden. Hope you are getting yours shipshape. Don’t forget to check out MowDirect.co.uk for consistently great offers, fabulous products, FREE DELIVERY TO THE UK MAINLAND and amazing prices, and have a good week. See ya. Holly.

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