Daily Telegraph, May 2015
15 November 2015
The Daily Telegraph garden at the Chelsea Flower Show takes its inspiration from the remembered landscape of an Essex childhood, and from one of the most innovative and influential phases of modern art. The result is a vibrant and adventurous composition of grids, cubes and monochrome planting. Its designer is Marcus Barnett, whose four previous Chelsea Flower Show gardens have also explored modernist and contemporary themes. With former design partner Philip Nixon he scooped gold medals in 2005 and 2006, for an outdoor photo gallery and a sculpture garden inspired by Mies van der Rohe’s riverside Farnsworth House, near Chicago.
For the Telegraph garden he has turned to Piet Mondrian (1872- 1944), the Dutch abstract painter and member of the De Stijl movement who has been a huge influence on him and on modern garden design in general. De Stijl’s advocacy of pure abstraction, interpreted by Mondrian in paintings of white, black and coloured squares and rectangles in an asymmetrical grid, were an invitation to designers to move away from the symmetry of classical formality towards more dynamic composition and freer arrangements of space, light, mass and shadow – and from clutter to minimalism.