So, Diarmuid Gavin finally wins a gold medal at the Royal Chelsea garden show.
In the past this mildly irritating but perseverant garden designer has come up with (amongst other things) coloured knobs on sticks, white globular pods to sit in and...er...not much else, and what looked like quite a lot of dead grass. I'm probably missing something. This year he has won a gold for the first time, with a garden called 'Irish Sky Garden' - a plot with pools of water and mainly green planting (ie not a lot of action on the flower front) and a large metal 'eye', turfed on top and with plants around its benches, that can be hoisted by crane to a height of 82 feet - according to the Telegraph - or perhaps 52 feet - also according to the Telegraph (get it together, guys!). Apparently it was inspired by the film Avatar: I looked, but no blue people (3D or otherwise) were to be seen. There is room within this 'eye' for an interviewer and an interviewee, ie Dairmuid being interviewed by Alan Titchmarsh; though, owing to 'Elf and Safety regs, Joe Public will not be able to queue for a ride (quite right: what is this, Alton Towers?)
Amateur Gardening magazine editor Tim Rumball (oh, him) is incensed. The gardens are for everyone (so long as they've paid the £45 entrance fee)! All visitors should be able to ride in the Eye, and also to replicate the idea at home! This is just a gimmick! Well, duh....
After so many years of failing to reach the gold standard, Dairmuid played to his strength - a slight sense of the ridiculous. No, it would never be my favourite (nor that of the judges, for that matter, I suspect). No, I can't see anyone building a miniature version in their own plot, and hoisting it on the rotary washing-line. But did it get people talking? Was it memorable? And did it bring home the bacon? You betcha. With coloured knobs on.
Incidentally, the eye will find its final resting place in Cork. Every chance it will soon become another slightly odd graffitteed piece of public art. Good luck to it.