A blog about the joys of plants, landscaping, irrigation, and the outdoors in general. By Ralph Edge, a Texas Master Certified Nursery Professional,a Texas Certified Landscape Professional,a Texas Licensed Irrigator and Landscape Irrigation Auditor certified through Texas A&M University, as well as a Texas Department of Agriculture Commercial Chemical Applicator. Whew! And...an all around nice guy.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
The English Landscape Garden
I love gardens and landscapes, that is a good thing considering my profession, and when it comes to gardens the English really have it "working". The English have been doing the formal garden since before our country decided to become independent (which had nothing to do with the English garden). The English garden presents and develops an idealized view of nature, often inspired by paintings of landscapes by various artists of the period, that period being the 17th century when things started to gear up in the English garden scene. This usually includes lakes, rolling lawns, classical structures set in and about the backdrop of the lakes and trees.
The style that became know as the English garden was birthed by two landscape designers William Kent and Charles Bridgeman. Kent was an architect and Bridgeman was a horticulturist, together they created some truly magnificent gardens or landscapes which became the forerunners of what we call parks today. These gardens or parks were developed for some of England's greatest names of nobility, these parks became so popular that the influence spread to the European continent and as far away as Russia.
Another influential figure in the English garden scene, was an English gardener by the name of Capability Brown. Brown's contribution was to simplify the garden by eliminating geometric structures,and alleys near the house and replaced them with rolling lawns and extensive views out to isolated groups of trees making the landscape appear even larger. He created artificial lakes and used dams and canals to transform streams or springs into the illusion that a river flowed through the garden. Mr. Brown designed 170 gardens.
As we have seen in this brief ...extremely brief view of the English garden, that the garden has its roots in the English culture. The Gardens are noted for the array of fragrant flowers, abundant plant life, romantic secluded sitting areas and meandering walkways among majestic trees. So is it possible to create an English garden at your home....but of course: here are some tips:
opt for curves and soft angles in your landscape design
have colorful flowers (perennials), green-space areas (grass), herbs and fragrant woody ornamental that you can brush up against when walking through your garden
design natural , yet meandering pathways of natural materials that will take you on a tour of your garden
design sitting areas with natural "worn" or "weathered' furniture that overlook "special" parts of your garden, have some sitting areas that are secluded for privacy or just areas to sit and "ponder"
Well we could go on for weeks about the English garden, there are semester long classes on the history of the "Garden Culture of England" suffice to say it is a significant heritage to the world of gardening. Enjoy the outdoors...it's real and it does not get any better than that.
CGreen Landscape Irrigation
"Your Landscape Our Passion"
(Information taken in part from Wikipedia and Landscape Advisor...Thank You Very Much)