It is not surprising there is war in The Middle East is it?

Neither was it that surprising that New Labour squandered its inheritance on years of greed, befuddled governance and internicine conflict.

But what is really quite disappointing is the way that elements of the UK garden world, which one might have thought could be just that bit different, currently interminably squabble and bicker over:

‘whether a garden is art’

whether a garden ‘has to contain plants’

how ‘a garden’ should be ‘defined’

how ‘different types of gardens’ should be defined

‘should’  a garden have a message 

etc etc etc.

It really is akin to the old clerical debate, apocryphal or otherwise, of ‘How many angels can fit on the head of a needle’!

If those whose arcane and abstruse obsession these issues are, walked out tonight, in the cool of a summer’s evening, into their garden, any garden, they would, in truth, find the answers to it all.

A garden is a garden is a garden!

It could be everything.

It could be nothing.

It is whatever we conceive it to be.

It is.

Discuss, by all means. Do!

If gardens are placed in the public domain they can of course be discussed.

But we should not seek to generalise and legislate over something quite so extraordinary as a garden.

Remember that rules make bad art.

Let us have some freedom. That is after all why many of us garden or design gardens.

Do not tell us that we cannot for example use the word ‘lovely’ or that we should not ask the name of a plant!

And in the discussions it is worth remembering that it is not necessary to denigrate someone else, be it an amateur gardener, a trained gardener, a garden visitor or a designer to make a point.

It is not after all that easy to define who does what and how and who likes what in the garden world.

I for example could legitimately define myself if I chose, in no particular order, as gardener, garden maker, garden visitor, horticulturalist, garden designer, artist, plantsman.

Rulebooks, labels and exclusions shriek fear and ignorance!