‘Do Gardens Need Plants’?



Surely that’s Sharon Stone. Are we on the set of ‘Basic Instinct 3’? What’s troubled novelist Catherine Tramell up to now?

Actually, this is the set of a fashion shoot featured in this weekend’s Daily Telegraph Luxury Magazine. And our Sharon, apparently famed for her love of couture, is decked out in the likes of Dior, Givenchy and Valentino.

But what grabbed me was the stunning set: tourqoise water and blisteringly bright white walls. This reminded me of discussions earlier on this year in the garden design fraternity about whether gardens actually had to have plants. Yes, its a little like asking whether Iceland needs to have ice. Well, very shortly it won’t-have it, that is!  

Leaving aside the design issue of the need for plants, which is worth a blog item in itself, this  landscape, (and I choose that word deliberately), certainly doesn’t. Not, when it looks this good!



The sky is blue, the heat seers, walls curve and water intriguingly disappears out of sight. Who needs more? The most we should expect, is to crane our necks up to some toweringly high, signature, Canary Island palms – this is Hollywood for sure. Plants within the area would represent fuss and detail and detract from concentration on the key elements. 

In fact even ‘La Stone’, who is always presentable, is also somewhat in the way. Her 260 metres of tulle (can that be right?) interfere with the reflection of that black globe set perfectly off centre on its glimmering, white plinth!

shazza 1


In case any one thinks this is an exercise in personal gratification, I have left out the photo of ‘Shazza’ looking a tad distrait in ‘transparent amber silk chiffon’ but I couldn’t resist:

Shazza 4


I think we do all need to know where the ice pick is, Sharon.

My guess it is stuck down the corset of this little number!


PS We must, in due course, return to the subject of plants and gardens to give our belated take on that hot little potato.

PPS Does anyone actually know where this pool is. Maybe I should know, but I don’t. The film crew apparently stayed at the Mondrian in LA, but googling there showed a much more prosaic pool. Is it a set? I suppose ‘stealing’ these photos – by Alix Malka – for the blog is one way of finding out, as long as it doesn’t get to court!