History of Landscape Design

History of Landscape Design
Horticulture Honors
Types of Gardens
Italian Renaissance
French Renaissance
English Formal or Cottage
Italian Renaissance
• Emerged in the late 15th century at villas in Rome
and Florence
• Inspired by classical ideals of order, harmony and
beauty, recalling the virtues of Ancient Rome.
• Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472) was the most
influential Italian Landscape Architect
– He argued that a villa should both be looked at and a
place to look from, that the house should be placed
above the garden, where it can be seen and the
owner can look down into the garden.
Important elements of Italian Gardens
• Elevation- terraces and different levels to the
garden to create focal points and views using
stairways and ramps to unite different levels
• Fountains
• Sculpture, especially mythological creatures
• Parterres – beds created in geometric shapes
and laid out in symmetrical patterns
• Labyrinths
Italian Garden Vocabulary
• Fontaniere – the fountain-maker, a hydraulic engineer who
designed the water system and fountains
• Giochi d’acqua – water tricks. Concealed fountains which
drenched unsuspecting visitors.
• Bosco Sacro – sacred wood. A grove of trees inspired by
groves where pagans would worship. This section was filled
with statues of animals, giants and fantastic creatures.
• Giardino Segreto – The Secret Garden. An enclosed private
garden within the garden, inspired by the cloisters of Medievil
monasteries. A place for reading, writing or quiet
French Renaissance Gardens
• Most significant in the 17th century
• Based on symmetry and the principle of imposing
order over nature.
• Most well known for the Gardens of Versailles
created by Andre’ Le Notre between 1662 and
1700 for King Louis XIV
• Saw their work as a branch of architecture. The
“walls” were composed of hedges and
“stairways” of water. On the ground, carpets of
grass or embroidered with plants and the trees
were formed into curtains, along the alleys.
Glossary of French Gardens
• Parterre – a planting bed, usually square or rectangular,
containing an ornamental design made with low closely
clipped hedges, colored gravel, and sometimes flowers.
– Laid out in geometrical patterns, divided by gravel paths
– Intended to be seen from above from a house or terrace
• Broderie – curling, decorative pattern within a parterre,
created with trimmed yew or box or made by cutting a
pattern out of a lawn and filled with colored gravel
• Allée –A straight path, often lined with trees
• Topiary – trees or bushes trimmed into ornamental shapes.
• Patte d’Ole – (English trans, Goose foot) Three or five paths or
allées which spread outward from a single point.
Principles of the French Garden
• A geometric plan using the most recent discoveries of
perspective and optics
• A terrace overlooking the garden, allowing the visitor
to see all at once the entire garden.
• All vegetation is constrained and directed, to
demonstrate the mastery of man over nature. Trees
planted in straight lines and carefully trimmed
• The residence serves as the central point of the
garden. No trees are planted too close to the house,
rather the house is set apart by low parterres and
trimmed bushes.
• A central axis, or perspective, perpendicular to the façade of the
house, on the side opposite the front entrance.
– Axis extends either all the way to the horizon or to piece of
statuary or architecture.
– Principal axis is composed of a lawn or a basin of
waterm,bordered by trees.
– The principal axis is crossed by one of more perpendicular
perspectives and alleys.
• Elaborate parterres, or planting beds, in the shape of squares, ovals,
circles or scrolls are placed in a regular and geometric order close to
the house.
• Parterres are filled with broderies, designs created with low
boxwood to resemble the patterns of carpet using effects with
flowers, colored brick, sand or gravel.
• Bodies of water serve as mirrors, doubling the size of the house.
• Garden is animated with pieces of sculpture and mark the
intersection of the axes
New technologies of the French
• Geoplastie, the science of moving large amounts of earth.
Came from the military, led to the development of baskets for
carrying earth on the back, wheelbarrows, carts and wagons. Andre
Le Notre used these methods to build the level terraces and to dig
canals and basins on a grand scale.
• Hydrology, bringing water to the gardens for the irrigation of
the plants and for use in the many fountains (was not successful at
• Hydroplasie, the art and science of shaping water into different
shapes as it came out of the fountain. Depended on the force of the
water and the shape of the nozzle. Associated with fireworks at the
time. Often accompanied by music.
Flowers in French Gardens
• Ornamental flowers were rare in
French Gardens.
• There was limited range of color:
blue, pink, white and mauve.
• Brighter colors would not arrive
until about 1730, because of
botanical discoveries from
around the world.
• Flowers were usually brought
from Provence, kept in pots, and
changed 3 or 4 times a year.
• Versailles palace records from
1686 show that the Palace used
20,050 jonquil bulbs, 23,000
cyclamen and 1700 lily plants in
one spring season.
Other pictures of french gardens
English Gardens
•Emerged in the 18th century replacing the more formal,
symmetrical French Garden as the principal gardening style of
•Inspired by an idealized view of nature, not architecture for
the first time.
Important designers of English
•Lancelot “Capability” Brown –
gardener under Charles Bridgeman
but became most influential figure
in later development of English
• William Kent – an architect,
painter and furniture designer.
His gardens were designed to
compliment the Palladian
architecture of the houses he
• Charles Bridgeman- son of a
gardener, experienced
horticulturist. Became Royal
gardener for Queene Anne and
Prince George of Denmark.
Responsible for tending and
redesigning the royal gardens at
Windsor, Kensington Palace.
Lancelot “Capability” Brown
• Contribution was to simplify the garden by eleminating
geometric structures, alleys and parterres near the house
and replacing them with rolling lawns and extensive views.
• He created artificial lakes and used dams and canals to
transform streams or springs into the illusion that a river
flowed through the gardens.
•17th century English gardens
were also influenced by
Chinese gardens
•Noted that Chinese gardens
avoided formal rows of trees
and flower beds, and instead
placed trees and plants in
irregular ways to strike the
eye and create beautiful
•During the 18th century the
French designers began to
adapt the English styles.
•The new style also had the
advantage of requiring fewer
gardeners, and was easier to
maintain than then French
Principles of English Garden
• Gently rolling beds
• Water in the form of
small ponds of streams
• Piers or bridges
• More flowers then the
• Often used a round or
hexagonal pavilion or
other pieces of
architecture out in the
• Smaller scale garden
English Cottage Garden Style
• Emerged in the 1870s
• Style that uses an informal design, traditional
materials, dense plantings and a mixture of
ornamental and edible plants.
• Depends on grace and charm rather than
grandeur and formal structure.
• More functional and easier to care for.
• Closer to the house, better for smaller
property owners.
•Emphasis was on vegetables and
herbs, along with some fruit trees.
•Flowers were used to fill and spaces
in between.
•Over time flowers became more
dominant creating cut flowers for the
owners use and decoration.
•Cottages garden were developed out
of necessity for the working class to
grow their food at their homes. As
times got better, more flowers were
seen as the gardens were able to
become less functional and more
•Very few hard scapes were found.
Sometimes a simple gravel path
would be found but always twisting
and winding paths. Never geometric
or symmetrical.
Japanese Garden
Traditional gardens that
create miniature idealized
•Gardens of emperors and
nobles were designed for
recreation and aesthetic
•Gardens of Buddhist temples
were designed for
contemplation and
Japanese Garden styles
Rock gardens or zen
gardens – meditation
gardens where white sand
replaces water
Roji – simple, rustic gardens with
teahouses where the Japanese tea
ceremony is conducted
Promenade or stroll gardens
with teahouses where the
Japanese tea ceremony is
Small courtyard gardens
Japanese Garden elements
either a pond or stream or
represented by white sand.
• In Buddhist symbolism, water
and stone are the ying-yang,
two opposites which
complemented and complete
• Will have an irregular shaped
pond or in a larger garden,
several ponds connected by a
channel or stream and a
cascade, a miniature waterfall
Water should enter the garden from the east or southeast, and flow toward
the west because the east is the home of the Green Dragon an ancient
Chinese divinity adapted in Japan, and the west is the home of the White
Tiger, the divinity of the east.
•Water flowing from east to west will carry away evil and the owner of the
garden will be healthy and have a long life
Rocks and Sand
• Rocks were used to represent mountains, places and things.
• A three rock arrangement usually represented heaven, earth
and humanity.
• Sand and gravel were used around shrines and temples but
were later used in Zen gardens to represent water or clouds.
• White sand represented purity, but sand could also be gray,
brown or bluish-black.
Garden architecture
• Designed to be seen from the
main buildings and its
verandas or from small
• Rustic teahouse were hidden
in the gardens and small
benches and open pavilions
provided places for rest and
• The garden and the house
became one.
• Used sliding doors on the
teahouses to open out into the
Garden Bridges
• Symbolized the path to
paradise and immortality
• Could be made of stone,
wood or logs with earth on
top, covered with moss
• Could be arched or flat
• Often painted red if part of
a temple garden
Stone lanterns and water basins
Stone lanterns – represents the five
elements of Buddhist cosmology.
• the part touching the ground
represents the chi, the earth
•The next section represents sui, water
•The section encasing the lanterns light
or flame, represents ka or fire
•The last two sections top-most and
pointing to the sky represent fū, air and
kū, void or spirit.
Water basins – originally places
for visitors to wash their hands
and mouth before tea ceremony
•Water is provided to the basin
by a bamboo pipe
•Usually has a wooden ladle for
•Placed low to the ground
Garden fences and gates
Trees and flowers
• Nothing is left to chance or left
• Trees carefully chosen and
arranged for their autumn
• Moss is used to suggest that
the garden is ancient
• Flowers carefully chosen by
their flowering season
• Trees are trimmed to provide
attractive scenes, a techmique
called Niwaki
Principles of Japanese Gardens
• Miniaturization –The Japanese Garden is a miniature and
idealized view of nature. Rocks can represent mountains and
ponds can represent seas.
• Concealment – The Zen Buddhist garden is meant to be seen all at
once, but the promenade garden is meant to be seen one
landscape at a time, like a scroll of painted landscapes unrolling.
Features are hidden behind hills, tree groves or bamboo, walls or
structures, to be discovered when the visitor follows the winding
• “Borrowed” Scenery –smaller gardens are often designed to
incorporate views of features outside the garden, such as trees,
hills, or temples. Makes the garden seem larger than it is.
• Asymmetry – Not laid on straight axes, or with a single feature
dominating the view.Buildings and garden features are usually
seem from a diagonal.
Colonial Revival garden style
• Popular from the late 1800s
to the late 1930s in the
United States, mostly eatern
(where colonial British
heritage was strongest).
• Typified by simple
rectilinear beds, straight
pathways through the
garden and perennial plants
from the fruit, ornamental
flower and vegetable
Elements of Colonial
• Tended to be small and close to
the house
• Usually enclosed , often by low
walls, fences or hedges.
• Straight walkway generally
extended on a line equal with
the entrance to the house
through the center of the
• Beds usually raised for drainage
• Planting beds were usually
square or rectangular
• Paths were made of brick,
gravel or stone
• Picket fences were common
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