Gardens, West and East.

December 25, 2010

The other day I was looking at a famous British architect and designer, Charles Jencks garden which he built next to his house in Scotland and he called it “A Garden of Cosmic Speculations”, and I was thinking how different that it is to a traditional Chinese private garden in Suzhou, yet they both celebrated the world we live in. I was thinking how our mind set affects the form we create and how our attitude to Nature affects the way we would make a garden.

Below is a couple of quotes from Charles Jencks about his garden, which appeared in the Symmetry Magazine recently:

“What is a garden if not a miniaturization and celebration, of the place we are in, the universe?” Charles Jencks

It should also be a work of art:

“A garden should be a place where you enjoy yourself, above all. It’s a place of play, it’s a gratuitous place. It has no function, it’s like a work of art.” – Charles Jencks

The traditional Chinese felt a little bit differently about their gardens, below is a saying on gardens that has been passed down for generations:

“The garden is an artistic recreation of nature; a landscape painting in three dimensions.”

One speculates on nature while the other tries to recreate nature, one celebrate the intellect while the other celebrate the senses, one has only greenery while the other do not separate greenery from architecture. Both are works of art, but what interesting outcomes, West and East!

What would you prefer?

A Garden of Cosmic Speculation

A Private Suzhou Garden


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