Some of you may remember seeing the Santa Rita ‘Living La Vida 120’ Garden at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show a few years ago. Alan Rudden’s design won a Gold medal and Best World Garden. Boldly coloured burnt-yellow steel feature walls, chunky gabion walls of bright rough stone and seven pollarded strawberry trees (Arbutus unedo) were memorable features.
The planting was designed to suit the arid, Mediterranean-style climate we fear the country might be heading inexorably towards. Cool green foliage predominated, with a little fun from variegated Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’ and Agave filifera ssp. schidigera ‘Shira ito no Ohi’. Silver accents came from Senecio ‘Angel Wings’, Agave parryi var. huachucensis and Santolina chamaecyparissus, while Agapanthus africanus ‘Blue Storm’, Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’ and ‘Ostfreisland’ provided blue and purple.
Common thyme and sage added fragrance while spiky plants such as Aloe spinosissima, Chamaerops humilis and Agave gentryi ‘Jaws’ gave texture.
The garden was sponsored by Santa Wines and to underline this, an artist was painting the garden red, using their wine. I’d never seen this done before.
He was extremely good-natured. Repeatedly holding up the painting for visitors to see before the ‘ink’ was dry had made a drip effect an accidental feature of the painting.
This made me think of Banksy’s limited edition print of ‘Girl With Balloon’ that self-destructed by shredder immediately after someone had paid £1 million for it. The accident was believed to have made the ex-painting more valuable.
Next week, Tim Berners-Lee will auction an NFT (non-fungible token) of the code used to create the World Wide Web, no doubt for an equally eye-watering sum. If I understand correctly, an NFT is a record or confirmation of an original digital thing – a picture or a video.
The question is: would an NFT of my digital picture of a red wine painting with accidental drips of a garden that no longer exists have any value, or do you have to be famous first?