Bridget Rosewell on “The love that dare not speak its name”

August 1, 2007

in Articles, General Interest

Comment on Anne Wareham’s article on beauty and gardens

I want to give you a considered reply but at the same time an immediate one.  And maybe it is the immediate that matters.

Whether you are right or wrong depends entirely on what you want to achieve, not what you believe.  We will never convince the public that gardens are art – they don’t care.  They may know what they like but they won’t discuss it, particularly in Britain.  They never have.

And the particular concept you describe as beauty is an especially difficult one because it relies on context.  We know (because told) that the Mona Lisa is beautiful, wherever it is and however hung.  But a garden relies, as you say, on light and seasons and the contrast between work and play.  To name but a few.  It can’t be captured easily in photographs or reproductions.

So the public might know what they like but the intelligentsia have denied them beauty to give them concepts.  We alone can’t change that.  We can make contributions by the various acts that we perform, which have to stand for themselves.  We can try to make allies to create a change in the mood.

And here is the real challenge.  Try Hayek on the intellectuals and socialism, because he talks about the difficulty of changing ideas and it is something that Paul (Bridget’s partner) and I think about quite a lot.

My view is that it takes a variety of approaches.  Mine is largely subversive.  I will try to undermine, charm and convict the wrong headed out of their own mouths.  Paul’s is to be aggressive, destructive and rude.  Yours is potentially different again and to be passionate.

Yours is the hardest course because it leaves you most exposed.  It might be worthwhile if the other approaches are there to back you up.  I think you need all of them. So don’t move forward without allies who are on your flanks.

Bridget Rosewell

Bridget Rosewell’s website

Return to article

Subscribe to the thinkinGardens Blog

Enter your email address to get new articles from the thinkinGardens blog by email:

Previous post:

Next post: