Landscape Gardens

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Landscape Gardens
Landscape Gardens
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The 18th century was a revolutionary milestone in the history of European garden art. The regular gardens and parks of the Baroque era were replaced by the landscape style. Correct, regular design of the garden began to be perceived as violence against nature, and naturalness and imitation of nature were declared the highest value. There is a curious statement by a contemporary about the "father of the new gardening", the famous Englishman William Kent (1685-1748): "He jumped over a garden hedge and saw that all nature is a garden."

Natural landscapes corrected by the artist's hand with their picturesque hills and groves, quiet lakes and babbling streams in the 18th century began to be considered the standard of habitat. The gardens, created in the new style, were devoid of artificial symmetry and ostentatious decorativeness. True, sometimes in secluded corners of the park one could, as if by chance, come across a dilapidated pavilion or a mysterious grotto overgrown with moss and ferns. Here you could take a breath after a long walk, relax or simply retire in an intimate atmosphere.

The main features of the landscape style

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All the beauty of the landscaped gardens cannot be felt at once, it is revealed gradually, during leisurely promenades. Behind each bend of the garden path, more and more new pictures and perspectives appear. Behind the seeming naturalness is the painstaking work of gardeners who create pictures of a landscape park, like a painter paints a theatrical scenery.

Of great importance in landscape-style gardens is the alternation of open and closed spaces (lawns, water surface of lakes and rivers, tree and shrub plantations), as well as the creation of picturesque perspectives. The most spectacular views open from the so-called vantage points: behind the bend of the path, from the top of a hill, the shore of a reservoir … As a rule, such places are marked with a gazebo or just a bench, where it is pleasant to sit, admiring the beautiful view.

Using landscape components

The main elements of the relief in the landscape garden are the rounded shapes of hills and hills, the slopes of river valleys covered with lush greenery. Stones (individual boulders and groups of stones) are widely used.

The dynamism of the flowing water is no longer manifested in fountains, as in baroque gardens, but in more natural and calm forms - springs, streams, rivers. The calm water surface of ponds and lakes becomes an important component of the entire landscape, creating an appropriate mood for leisurely walks.

In the landscaped garden, trees and shrubs grow in natural scenic groups. It seems that they have always grown in this place, although they were planted by the hand of an experienced gardener. Old freestanding trees (tapeworms) are highly prized, especially those with a curved trunk and intricately curved branches. In regular gardens, trees of this kind would be, at best, just "outlandish freaks", in landscape parks they are valued for their unique individuality.

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Along with the "solo" trees, groups of trees and shrubs play a great role in the landscape garden. They are planted in such a way that the shape and color of the leaves, the color and texture of the crown, and the peculiarities of branching "play".

Instead of intricate flower beds planted with low-growing flowers that form a carpet pattern on a green background, flowers grow in free compositions in the landscape park. In mixborders, tall plants are usually planted in the background, and low-growing ones in the foreground. Moreover, they are specially selected for the timing of flowering, so that the composition pleases the eye at any time of the year. Meadow lawns look natural in landscape gardens, on which wild flowers grow along with cereals. All this creates an atmosphere of confidential communication with nature, which is so lacking in modern city dwellers. Perhaps this is the reason that today the landscape style is still the most relevant trend in landscape design.

Based on the materials of the magazine "Stylish Garden" and the book by N.A. Neukhozhenko

"Fundamentals of Landscape Design and Landscape Architecture" St. Petersburg, 2004

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