J. Parker’s Chained to Tech Garden

Show Gardens

J. Parker’s has returned to show gardens to celebrate 90 years as a family-owned business. The garden highlights some of the physical and mental effects of screen-based technologies, to spotlight the research projects currently being undertaken by J. Parker’s and professors from Manchester Metropolitan University into young adults with technological addiction.

Like the vibrant visuals on display screens, the garden is designed to be bold and create a dynamic atmosphere of contrast, providing instant gratification and the feeling of euphoria that using technology provides. Artwork behind the arbour, and the pattern of the path, are inspired by the shape of a USB socket.

From a distance, the hard landscaping appears flawless, with sharp clean lines and smooth edges. On closer inspection, the materials are raw, weathered and distressed, representing the poor mental health and deterioration of the body through technological overuse.

Technology components are referenced through the inclusion of brass strips used in electronics, reinforcing bar and black wires representing cables, and laser-cut corten steel inspired by circuit boards. Old devices are used inside the bench gabions and the paving is inspired by the jumping mechanics in gaming.

Low-maintenance, drought-tolerant plants, including Phormium tenax and Punica granatum or pomegranate, are chosen as their growing conditions represent the dry eyes caused by screens and the decrease in activity and self-care. Eye-catching yellow foxtail lilies and blue agapanthus provide a punch of colour.

Key plants: Eremurus (foxtail lily), Hemerocallis (daylily), Agapanthus, Cordyline

Also sponsored by:

  • Schellevis
  • Platipus Anchors
  • RockFx

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