|The entire garden at this time of year was -- one would almost say -- a riot of colour. But not really a riot: the plantings are so severely regimented that I joked with Irene, "I get the feeling that any plant that wilts or steps out of line is taken out and shot at dawn." After a few hours wandering around the place we found it strangely oppressive: a tribute to the most authoritarian control of Nature, a prettiness draped over land eviscerated by resource extraction, maintained by enormous artificial inputs, dependent entirely on cheap energy for maintenance. There was something rather spooky about the whole setup, the smileyface papering over the brutality of colonialism perhaps? at any rate we were somewhat relieved to depart. We saw what we had come to see, and maybe a bit more.