Gardens of delight, gardens of delirium
25 April - 21 October 2012
A focal point of harmony and fertility, symbolically linked to Eden itself and the idyllic landscapes of Arcadia, the garden is traditionally a place of happiness, euphoria and bliss, in which every sense is awakened to the full. With this tradition in mind, gardens created for the 2012 edition will ideally be gardens of delights. But they will also be gardens of delirium and audacity: settings for boundless imagination, luxuriant plant life and botanical extravagance, calling forth surprise and wonder, sometimes even dwelling upon the phantasmagorical.
Drawing inspiration from the technical and magical powers of contemporary imagination, the 2012 edition will move from discoveries to inventions. Passing from one garden to the next, visitors will find themselves in the midst of true cabinets of curiosities, playing on accumulation and on surprises of every shape and kind, whether visual, hydraulic or olfactory... The key words will be the unexpected, abundance and wonderment, with every promise fulfilled.
Extraordinary topiaries, contemporary gazebos and follies, green fairylands, pocket-sized jungles, fountains and a myriad other water features, burgeoning plants, botanical eccentricities, and phenomenal fruits and vegetables – the gardens for 2012 will take you all the way through the looking-glass. With such wilful extravagance, gardening the unconscious, providing every reason for reason to let go its hold, from beating heart to wild grasses, immersing themselves in the history of fabulous gardens, gardens of quills, colour and song, the winners of the 2012 Festival know well how to bewitch, surprise, amaze, and weave dreams.
Showing ample evidence of research and of scientific and artistic innovation, working with a wide range of plant life and encouraging respect for the environment, each team of creators is contributing an original, innovative, audacious and dreamlike garden to the Festival, every one of them designed to give pleasure and reveal the quintessence of the beauty that fills our universe.