English Gardens

The birth of the English gardens

The English gardens were born with the Roman invasions, designed by the conquerors, since in the culture of the Britons the garden was not considered. They were rediscovered in the Middle Ages, when they embellished small spaces in castles and monasteries. In the sixteenth century they followed the trend of Italian gardens, while in the following they were influenced by the formal rigidity of French gardens. The Enlightenment also influenced the very concept of the garden with Lord Burlington as champion of the new course: temples and bridges appeared to enrich the garden. Jean-Jacques Rousseau was one of the visitors to the English gardens who were enriched with green meadows, ponds and canals. Towards the second half of the 1700s the technique began to be adopted also in France.

The Victorian era saw the advent of greenhouse, exotic and public garden plants; the formal style coexisted with that of the garden that favors nature more, modeled with an almost prestidigitation technique, in which everything seems to be in its place because this is what nature wanted, but in reality it was man who conceived and executed it. The industrial revolution also brought with it the need to embellish smoky and dirty cities, with the creation of green spaces and large parks that could also benefit the health of the inhabitants. ‘one with the house of the great Gertrude Jekyll, perhaps the greatest, certainly the most influential, gardener that England before and the world thereafter have had in this century.

The main features of English gardens

The English gardens are conceived following two cardinal principles: Chinese philosophy and Enlightenment thought. Two close philosophies, manifestations of a garden that expresses human emotions through nature. A garden that must continually excite the visitor, where there is no horizon, but many horizons, all to be discovered during the journey within it. Here the man’s footprint is barely seen, not that it is not there, but it is cleverly disguised with an illusion: the garden seems to have been born by itself, as it is seen; even if in reality a wise direction has made it become (and maintains it) in this way. In these gardens, here is the Enlightenment influence, nature is expressed without changes, in the total absence of that typical geometry, instead, of other currents.

English Gardens: Designing English Gardens

These gardens are meticulously designed, but the impression must be of a nature that has sank its roots in a completely natural way, while in reality the plants have been planted. English gardens are not without care: choice of plants , respect for the pedoclimatic characteristics in which the garden is located and, secondly, the artificial elements that must be present, but in the right proportion, in order to integrate with the garden, without becoming the preponderant element. Then the flowers: the choice falls between having a single-colored or multi-colored garden, arranging the plants according to the flowering period; without neglecting the presence of waterways: waterfalls, canals, ponds, lakes.

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