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Gardens and Art

Articles: Gardens and Art

The elaborate fountain and intricately shaped hedging at Villa Lante, a Renaissance garden north of Rome. Author’s photographs, except as noted
To fill that space with objects of beauty, to delight the eye after it has been struck, to fix the attention where it has been caught, to prolong astonishment into admiration, are purposes not unworthy of the greatest designs.
Humphry Repton, Sketches and Hints on Landscape Gardening (1795)

If we are to learn anything from the great gardens of the past, it is that the garden itself is the work of art. It is not just a setting for “garden art.” Art in the garden is not the statue. It is the organizing ideas that create relationships that, in turn, make the whole much more exciting than the individual tree or sculpture. What the historically great garden cultures have in common is the manner in which they created spaces and views by using all the visual elements: stone walls and hedges; walks paved with gravel, stone, or brick, or simply turfed; buildings, including the main structure, pavilions and follies, gazebos and belvederes, greenhouses and out-buildings; foun...

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