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The Idiot Gardener is a fool character created by Laura Jantunen, who deals with environmental change through gardens. In The Idiot Gardener series the garden is seen as a vast concept. It can be for example a Japanese stone garden, little strip of land between apartment buildings, a commercial forest or just a regular garden with carrots and apple trees. The aim of the series is to question the need for gardening as well as find the essence of it. Why do we garden in the first place and what does it give to the gardener? 

In The Idiot Gardener the “gardener” stands for trying one's best and the will and hope towards the miracle of growth. The “Idiot” reflects everything where you fail, you could try better, or what you don't understand at all. The fool character enables movement between these two, the acceptance, laughing at oneself and others.

Until now The Idiot Gardener has been a solo project where Laura Jantunen studies the character of The Idiot Gardener in relation to different kinds of flora and fauna found in gardens. Through this research the performances Elo and The Idiot Gardener and Rock were created. The next endeavour in fact is to research tree gardens (suomeksi puu tarha). Tree garden can be for example a garden filled of trees or a very Finnish commercial forest. 

So far the work is supported by Kasvinaika -festival in collaboration with Mustarinda, Pengerkatu 7 työhuone, Esitysteltta and Saaren Kartano residency. 


August 2023 - The Idiot Gardener at Esitysteltta, Helsinki

August 2023 - The Idiot Gardener at Alust -festival, Helsinki

June 2023 - The Idiot Gardener and Rock at Pengerkatu 7 Työhuone, Helsinki

August 2022 Elo/Au at Kasvinaika -festival at Mustarinda, Kainuu

Pictures - in blue outfit by Lydia Touliatou and in pink outfit by Nina Wilenius

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