A Question of Style
Do you have a preference?
So many gardens.... so little time
A fitting summary of my personal approach, when I plan a garden sojourn. Mapping out a journey generally results in an itinerary that takes in gardens of every persuasion.
Lately I find the modern language of visionary, iconoclastic designers most challenging and engaging. They draw me into their process, one of reinterpreting the elements of a garden.
Often raising the question: What is a Garden? The designer's reinvention of how such elements come together stirs me to learn this new language.
And so, I enjoy expansive spaces defined by sleek, clean lines. I also revel in an exuberantly planted cottage garden, or a serene Japanese landscape. I soak up the manicured formality of atmospheric historic settings, and seek out over-the-top urban retreats: those densely-planted, art-laden gardens created by zealous collectors.
The English garden tradition knocks my socks off. I've been totally enchanted by the intimate confines of a B&B garden, and the renowned landscapes of National Trust properties.
In all my travels, one garden stands out as having left me fairly cold. I hesitate to name it, because if statistics are correct, it may well be the most visited garden in the world. That says something about my taste in gardens, even as I've been describing my bent as being of a catholic character.
I love the idea of exchanging viewpoints, so I'm dedicating this post to Esther Montgomery. See Esther's comment on the previous post, and visit her on:
Esther, I believe you might well be unimpressed with the modern aspects of the Alchemist's botanical garden. And the black and red gardens you might dislike, too, although they were newly installed when I photographed them.
But I have a hunch!
If you walked through the white garden in the early morning or at dusk, when no one else is around and the roses are blooming (iceberg roses bloom for months on end in Provence), I really think you'd find the unfolding panorama along the winding paths to your liking.
Waddesdon Manor - 2001
Click on the link to see an earlier post: A Garden Without Plants - A Dialogue