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Jean Vernon

Jean Vernon Garden Writer/Feature Writer West Country

  • Date Joined: 01 Jul 2008

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Punks, teenagers and a challenge to the judges

Posted by Jean Vernon on 22 Jul 2008 at 04:59 PM

 I found Jon Tilley on his hands and knees cleaning up his ‘Punk's not Dead' Garden. The judges have left their mucky footprints on his fantastic punk path, but he wasn't complaining. Instead he was creating them a challenge: "I think that for Children in Need we should get the RHS judges to build a show garden that is either judged by children or by previous RHS show garden designers." He's serious too, so how about it?


"I'm a first time designer at an RHS show and it's been tough. I'd love to say ‘I don't care, but I do care, that's why I spent 27 hours on Sunday and Monday building this garden."
It's a garden of two halves and there's no cross over between the two. On one side is a controversial spiky garden with reflections of punk and bad boy design, on the other is a serene formal creation of box and lavender and stone.
The garden is designed for the Teenage Cancer Trust as a representation of the clash between teenagers and their parents but for Jon it also reflects a little of his own turbulent teenage years. "I was a little oik," he confesses, "a pretty horrible teenager."
"When I thought about something to do with teenagers, it seemed a bit false to pretend that I was a teenager today, so I went back to when I was a teenager. It was 1977 in the days of punk. The main theme of the garden is the clash between teenagers and parents. That side," he points to the formal area, "was my Dad who was educated at Oxford. This side," the contemporary, spiky, punky bit, "was me. It's a genuine statement of my emotions. There are no cross overs between the two sides. As a teenager I didn't feel there was anything in common between me and my father. Now I feel that I am moving over to the other side and my relationship with my children."
Don't miss it, it will make you think.


tonyraw said:

johnny [Rotten] Tilley will live forever

on 22 Jul 2008 at 08:26 PM

Geoff Hodge said:

John Lydon (the real Johnny Rotten) may have something different to say.

on 23 Jul 2008 at 01:30 PM