This year is the International Year of Glass as declared by the United Nations. To honour this there was a show garden at the Chelsea Flower Show featuring a number of glass art pieces. Of which one comprised stained glass (sea below). And it occurred to me that stained glass in garden design has a lot of potential.
I’m not a religious person, but walking into a church with stained glass windows, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by a holy experience. The colours and patterns are majestic. And how easily achieved the effect is being illuminated by nothing but daylight.
As impressive as stained glass is in a church, pretty much everything pales in comparison to that featured in the Cosmovitral Botanical Garden in Toluca, Mexico. I’ve never been there, came across this wonderful green space via research. The premises used to be a market place before it was converted into a botanical garden. The huge stained glass sections were put in place in the 1980s.
Religion has no place in these motifs. They are all dedicated to science and understanding of the universe. They oversee a flora of around 500 species of primarily Mexican plants. Interesting combo with universe meeting earthly flora in a botanical garden. But why not? A reservation would be that here, due to the magnificent work of art hovering high above, the botanical side of things could take second place.
The show garden dedicated to glass at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2022, was by the way a collaboration with the Contemporary Glass Society (CGS) as it celebrates its 25th year. It featured sculptures and garden planters made by British glass artists having been made using both ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ glass processes. An overall aim was to demonstrate the beauty and versatility of glass in a garden setting. I would agree with this.