Garden installations using pansies highlights homophobic issues

Raising awareness of homophobia was a previously unknown theme for a garden design, until two brothers Tom and Paul Harfleet collaborating on The Pansy Project. It is a controversial garden that aims to attack people's prejudices against gay people.

Artist Paul has built installations using pansies at sites of anti-gay hate crime for five years, including 3,000 pansies on London's South Bank where David Morley was murdered in 2004.

Tom said the RHS had welcomed the idea for a confrontational shattered structure with slabs of concrete covering 4,000 pansies designed to metaphorically refect the disruptive nature of homophobic hate crime on society. He explained: "I wanted to show that homophobic crime happens and it shouldn't."

"The RHS liked the structure with the concrete versus the fluffiness of the pansies. There is a grey area between art and gardening."

Tom trained at Merrist Wood College in Surrey in landscape gardening and Paul studied art in Liverpool.

Their first garden show design won best conceptual garden at Hampton Court Flower Show last week. BNE Landscapes was the contractor and Downs View Nurseries provided plants.


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