Glitz in the Garden. Consider man’s attempt to conquer nature within the landscape as a symbol for wealth and power. Specific oppulent civilizations provide many examples throughout recorded history – as punctuated by Hadrian’s Villa, Versailles, and Hearst Castle.
Garrett Eckbo- “As social inequieties become more complex, those who have more than the average, and more than they need, tend to express or flaunt such surpluses…. For the common man, dish gardens, patios or suburban backyards may provide symbols of memories of the paradise of the rich.”
From the Telegraph, here is this morning’s article on this year's 20 million pound show garden, the most expensive in the history of “The Great Show”. (Interestingly, this comes after complaints at last years show that Chelsea had scaled back, reflective of the global recession.)
“David Domoney's design is the most expensive in the event's 97 year history.
The Ace of Diamonds garden will be littered with jewels loaned by Bond Street store Leviev. The garden celebrates the links between plants and precious stones and its centrepiece will be diamond jewellery worth millions that will require unprecedented security.
It will boast a £1 million peony-shaped ring with pink and green diamonds and a daisy-shaped ring set with a rare, flawless blue diamond worth £3.2 million.
Domoney, who formerly appeared on ITV's This Morning, also hopes to include an even more valuable uncut diamond in his elaborate, outdoor display.
The garden will be worth more than all Chelsea's other collections put together when the Royal Horticulture Society's annual showpiece begins on May 25.
Many of the plants being used by Domoney have gemstones in their names such as euonymous emerald gaiety, potentilla gold finger and hosta diamond tiara.
A looping path of stepping stones leads to a central, diamond-shaped patio. When viewed from above, it is said to look like a pendant necklace.
The garden will boast Chiltern marble, Roman plinths and backlit walls with semi-precious stones such as quartz and amethyst.
The gems will be on display for the gardens launch and the duration of the judging. Domoney, who has previously suggested using Viagra to perk up wilting plants, said: "I always endeavour to introduce something a little bit more entertaining and this garden is something really special.
"I am aiming to give the garden a real James Bond-style feel.
"There will be more bling on display than on Paris Hilton.
"But we will be asking the judges to think of Helen Mirren for a touch of class.
"It's high end and extreme but with a strong horticultural message. Its a jewellery box garden. "This garden will be the most expensive that Chelsea has ever had or is ever likely to have.”
"It will be more valuable than all the rest of Chelsea collections from this year and last year combined." RHS shows director Bob Sweet said: "We are all very excited that this very valuable diamond will be sat on a table in David's outdoor garden. "We have tight security at Chelsea anyway but something like this will require special attention, which it will definitely get."
Chelsea's world-famous show gardens typically cost no more than £250,000.
The Ace of Diamonds is the second of four Domoney gardens designed for airline sponsor BMI's Diamond Club, following on from last year's Ace of Spades.
For that, a Harley Davidson motorbike took pride of place in a large pit shaped like a giant ace of spades and lined with recycled garden spades.”
Last years Ace of Spades garden.