Archive for 10/01/2014

Rethinking Parks

Brooklyn Bridge Park, New York, USA

‘Over the next two years, Nesta, The Heritage Lottery Fund and The Big Lottery Fund will back a small number of pioneering innovations, with a focus on finding the new business models that will enable our parks to thrive for the next century.

For example, what if parks made the most of temporary installations to generate income – like open air cinemas, food festivals or art showcases? What if communities took on the maintenance of parks, or real-time user data from smartphones was used to inform maintenance regimes? 

If you’ve got an idea to reimagine the way your local park is used, maintained or run, we want to hear from you.’

The Garden- man made artifice?
The Garden- man made artifice?

‘Let us, then, begin by defining what a garden is, and what it ought to be. It is a piece of ground fenced off from cattle, and appropriated to the use and pleasure of man: it is or ought to be, cultivated and enriched by art, with such products as are not natural to this country, and consequently, it must be artificial in its treatment, and may, without impropriety, be so in its appearance; yet, there is so much of littleness in art, when compared with nature, that they cannot be well blended; it were, therefore, to be wished, that the exterior of a garden should be made to assimilate with park scenery, of the landscape of nature; the interior may then be laid out with all the variety, contrast, and even whim, that can produce pleasing objects to the eye.’

Humphry Repton- ‘Observations on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening’, 1803

Hmmm. what do you think? Repton’s advice about blending the edges of a garden with it’s surrounding landscape has become a tenet of garden design, but what about his words on making the garden itself a clearly ‘man made’ feature? Is the phrase ‘natural garden’ a contradiction in terms?

Old School Gardener


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