LG Follies (Hedge 003)
LG Follies was our competition entry for the annual Wild Art Exhibition at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden (LGBG) in Richmond, Virginia. The organizers asked for submissions to be inspired by the theme of PLAY. I proposed a scanvenger hunt for seven follies of familiar LGBG garden forms and features: hedges, bollards, pavilions and arbors.
A scavenger hunt is an ideal game for a place like LGBG because it lures players into exploring all 80 acres of the garden – even sections that they would not have chosen to visit otherwise. Thus, players are rewarded not only with finding the items on their lists, but also by connecting with all the beauty LGBG has to offer.
The follies will vary in size and several will be camouflaged to blend into their surroundings. Some will be harder to find than others. And because many of the follies will be easy to move, LGBG will be able to reposition most of them repeatedly, creating new surprises even for frequent visitors of the garden.
LGBG will provide a map with a legend of the follies, and visitors will be encouraged to mark the location of each folly on that map. Visitors will receive an LGBG Folly souvenir in exchange for turning in a map marked with the correct locations of all the follies.
The follies will be formed with a proprietary mix of waterproof non-polyester-based resin and environmentally friendly additives. The follies can also be cast in a glow-in-the-dark resin, creating a novel experience for visitors experiencing the gardens in the evening. Certain follies will sit on the ground. Others will have spikes to anchor them for greater stability while allowing for easy installation and removal.
1. “Hedge Hedge” – a prototypical boxwood privacy hedge as those found throughout LGBG.
2. “Pyramid Cage” – invokes the painted wooden cages found in the Children’s Garden.
3. “Bird Stool” – a homage to the concrete mushroom pedestals found in the conservatory. It is designed to invoke a natural place for sitting down and telling a story.
4. “Donut Pavilion” – a playful take on the water feature in the North Garden. This folly is specifically designed to allow children to physically interact with it by hiding inside or crawling under it.
5. “Stone Hedge” – recalls the shape of the rock outcroppings found in LGBG.
6. “Boxwood Bollard” – reminiscent of the short sidewalk poles that light the walkways at LGBG.
7. “Kissing Arbor” – a sculptural rendition of the arbors and trellis structures of LGBG, which are popular with wedding photographers and Instagramers.