Should we celebrate natural landscapes or stop ‘pandering’ to rewilding of gardens?
English gardener Alan Titchmarsh has sparked debate after urging judges at the Chelsea Flower Show to not pander to ‘rewilding’ at the upcoming competition.
He said rewilding shows “no signs of gardening, except that it had been put together by gardeners”.
RTÉ Super Garden judge Monica Alvarez said she “100%” disagreed with Mr Titchmarsh’s argument.
“It's very important to celebrate nature and to give nature its place,” she told Newstalk Breakfast.
“It’s basically our mother. She's the one that taught us the balances and the beauty and how everything works.”
Ms Alvarez said people should not “arrogantly” separate themselves from natural landscapes.
“We are accustomed to that manicured garden, the idea of a perfect lawn, almost as if it's a carpeting in our house,” she said.
Shane Coleman said rewilded spaces such as the front area of Trinity College Dublin look “shabby”.
Ms Alvarez argued, however, that we are “not trained to appreciate nature [and] see it for the colours that it brings to our eyes”.
“You have been hypnotised into thinking gardening is about manicured areas and green blobs,” she said. “You haven't had the opportunity to see the beauty of movement.”
She said rewilding in urban areas is particularly essential for a country’s landscape.
“We've already taken away from nature – we tarmacked everything that was there and now we want to manicure it further,” she argued.
“I'm not saying that Chelsea should be all rewilding,” Ms Alvarez said.
“All I'm saying is that if someone comes in with an alternative and an artist put into it the effort of imitating nature, it shouldn't be punished. It should be celebrated.”