Garden Architecture from Green Grass to Plant Paradise
Garden architecture has been seen as an extension of the home long before Darmuit Galvin brought us the outdoor room on Changing Rooms. For centuries the aristocracy have understood the importance of garden architecture, as they know it shrieks of class and sophistication.
Over the years, palace gardens have actually remained very much the same, with large long linear patches of lawn and hedges veering towards a focal point, however middle class houses have toyed with many ideas over time.
In medieval times the focus was on healing and productivity. It was often churches and monasteries that would spend time in a garden whereas homeowners would use it for growing food and little else.
Herbs were an essential part of the landscape as they provided the medicine needed while everything had a purpose. From the dovecotes that held pigeons whose feathers were used for stuffing, and meat used for food to the muddy banks were fish would be preserved
This is when garden architecture began to infiltrate the outdoors with huge structural pieces showing off wealth. From large fountains to massive rockeries, the Tudor garden was much like the houses of the time, obvious, overstated and a bit over embellished. Royals even had deer parks for convenient hunting.
Stuart gardens reflect the pompousness of the age, where the Stuarts were keen to eradicate design of the Tudors but instead created quite boring and formal landscapes in their place. There is a little intrigue though as they brought over designs from Holland and France so canals are evident, as are avenues, tree lined walk ways that remain in many stately gardens today.
As if breaking free from the constraints of the Tudor times the Georgian garden architecture became whimsical, fantastical, enchanting and delightful. With follies, tea rooms, hidden corners and areas of interest they brought a magical touch to the gardens of England. Understandably many remain today and are often used as parks as they embraced fun and mystery when creating these inspired designs. They extended on the canals introduced by the Stuarts with more lakes and ponds scattered around for recreation.
We can’t mention Victorian Garden architecture without bringing up the Lutyens, they brought the typical chocolate box English country garden to a whole new level. Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll made the perfect partnership as Gertrude used mature shrubs such as Lupins, Caster Oil Plants and Rhododendrons to soften the sharp architectural designs of Edwin’s architecture.
This blend made an impressive garden magical, functional, formal and informal; it’s a style we all try to mirror today. It shows the stark contrast between manmade and nature in a truly perfect way. Through his stairs and balustrades and her bushes and shrubs, they showed that the two can enhance each other when put together.
Garden architecture today is quite mixed. There’s no definitive style, as people can’t really make up their minds what they want. There is however some emerging trends that reflect the world we’re living in such as:
Protecting the earth is big business gardens architecture is being used to add sustainability. From a wind turbine at the end of the drive to rain water harvesting for collecting water, the garden has become a source of sustainability.
As food channels show everyone how to cook many are getting the bug and trying to grow their own. The rising cost of food is also a huge incentive. Herbs now play a big part of garden architecture, as people are quite simply sick of the wilted offerings of the supermarket.
The multifunctional garden is on the rise. No longer is it enough to be an outdoor space, it needs to serve many purposes. From giving food to raising chickens to a swimming pool, or office a work room we’re making the most of the space we’ve got.
Luxury gardens are popular, whether they offer comfort with swing chairs and hot tubs or serenity with aromatherapy. Touch also seems to be working its way in, with fluffy grasses and juniper lawns.