Thursday, November 10, 2016
The Derek Jarman Gardens
Located in the United Kingdom in Dungeness, on the coast of Kent, the Derek Jarman Gardens surround Prospect Cottage, which was once the home of Avante-gard film director, Derek Jarman (1942 - 1994). The garden is most unusual, in that it was created in a desert landscape. It's flat, bleak, and barren - a stark contrast to the nearby rolling green hills and farmland. Basically, it's on the equivalent of a sand bar.
The garden started out by accident. Jarman bought the four-room fisherman's house in 1986. He began using bits of stones and driftwood as outlines of the property. Then he experimented with local plants to see what could survive in the inhospitable terrain. He found that oxeye daisies, California poppies, and sea kale worked. He added things that had washed up on the shore - rope, metal, driftwood, and created sculptures that served as focal points. In the end, Jarman created a colorful and eye-appealing area that surrounds his tar-black cottage.
Visitors may not enter the house, as it is privately owned, but visitors can carefully tread around the garden exterior. The best time to visit is in June and July. There is no charge to see the gardens.