Alex and I went to visit Cornwall’s world-renowned Eden Project last weekend. This was our first visit for a couple of years and it was interesting to see how the various parts of the site are developing. “Eden” is marketed very much as an experience in horticultural education (and there is much of interest to be learned there) but I always find my experience of it is more as a work of art.
Art is certainly important to the creators of Eden (there are sculptures to be found everywhere) but the entire experience seems to be primarily an aesthetic one for me.
Most interesting has been seeing the changes in the developing plantings over the years. The Tropical Biome (as the giant greenhouses are named) seemed mature from very early in its life but I can recall when the Warm-Temperate Biome was a rather barren affair with little plants struggling to be interesting. Now this area has matured into a very pleasant space with a warm, calm feel.
Only some areas of the outside plantings now leave me feeling a bit underwhelmed. This is partly a lack of any mature trees but is also the problem of some mass plantings looking a bit like the sort of horticulture found around municipal car parks. Another serious issue is where too many different displays have been packed into too small an area, so that they are out of scale with the grandness of the architecture.