|A peek into the little paradise that is 'Eye to Eye', the winning garden by Lim in Chong|
|You enter the garden through a barren space stabbed with shards of rusted metal like shrapnel|
|The journey ends when you step through the last eye gate and into a tranquil haven of bubbling water and gentle flowers|
The standard is incredibly high. There are leading designers here from the US, New Zealand, South Africa, Malaysia, Korea and of course Japan, all at the top of their game. Today we found out the medals, and also the winner of the coveted title of 'Best in Show' (that particular gong comes with a 1 million yen prize cheque - over £8000).
|One day I would like the kind of garden you can pave with blue-and-white Islamic tiles |
(and the climate to go with it, please)
It's a garden of two halves, in which you make a journey through 'eye' gates across a barren space filled with monumental rocks like gravestones. Everything here is sharp and uncomfortable: the colours are black and white and grey, and the path is of jagged rusted metal shards, raised unevenly so you pick your way gingerly across them. Two stone 'Tourou' lanterns are Malaysian symbols of death, lighting the way for the spirits of the dead.
|This was a garden of all the senses: the bubbling star pool in the centre is a gentle backdrop of sound|
|The planting was charming, but very English to my eye... but look at that strappy pandanus behind|
|Other corners were unmistakeably oriental|
|And this was a particular favouite: the buds, set along the length of the stems, are claret-red, too|