Until summer arrives to ripen the garden, I’ll be looking back to last summer. Click on the photo to enter the time machine.
The garden in early April is mostly invisible. This is its skeleton. By mid-June the rapidly growing perennials and grasses will make most pathways disappear, creating a new landscape, a virtual new topography.
The burning and cutting is done. Within a month, with warmer temperatures, thousands of grasses and perennials will break the surface, and a textured plain of green will emerge.
“The entrance to the Chanticleer garden, in a wooded countryside just outside Philadelphia, could be described as a portal into a horticultural parallel universe … The brief is simple: innovate, innovate, innovate. There are more ideas at Chanticleer than any one garden could reasonably be expected to accommodate, and visiting is an intense experience for those with the ability and desire to ‘read’ these plantings.”
– Tim Richardson, Great Gardens of America
(This review originally appeared on the Thinkingardens website.)
“The founding fathers of modern environmentalism, Henry David Thoreau and John Muir, promised that ‘in wildness is the preservation of the world.’ The presumption was that the wilderness was out there, somewhere … and that it would be the antidote for the poisons of industrial society. But of course the healing wilderness was as much the product of culture’s craving and culture’s framing as any other imagined garden… The wilderness, after all, does not locate itself, does not name itself… Nor could the wilderness venerate itself. It needed hallowing visitations from New England preachers…, photographers…, painters in oil…, and painters in prose… to represent it as … holy …”
–from Simon Schama’s Landscape and Memory
The following article by Gillian Vine is from the Otago Daily Times online edition – 17 January 2016 – on the history of Gravetye Manor, home of William Robinson, one of the early progenitors of the naturalistic tradition in gardening. (Thanks to Facebook gardening friend Scott Nickerson of Queenstown, New Zealand, for posting it there.)
Federal Twist is featured in the January 2016 issue of the Garden Design Journal, a publication of the Society of Garden Designers (SGD) in the UK. Photos by Andrea Jones, noted garden photographer, and words by me.
I can’t recommend you get a copy. It’s seems not to be available in the US, except among the few Americans who might be members of SGD.
We had a taste of it. On December 5, a little frost, a thin crust of ice on the pond. Later, a sunny day, the temperature moderated and it’s been warm ever since. Now we’re past the winter solstice, and still no winter.
Not until after the fact–during it, really–did I realize how gratifying it would be to have a bunch of landscape architecture students come for a visit.