• Surreal Landscapes

    • The garden as a celebration of our place in the universe: a gap between science and contemplation.

    Garden of Cosmic Speculation / 

    Several traditions see in gardens one of the shapes of Paradise, a civilization-bounding activity and ritual celebrating the goodness and gifts of this world. An extraordinary example of this art is found in the Garden of Cosmic Speculation, designed by the multifaceted landscapist Charles Jencks, together with his wife Maggie Keswicky in Protrack House, Scotia.

    By combining various disciplines –mathematics, astronomy, biology and some elements of metaphysic speculation—, Jencks transformed these theoretical notions into concrete spaces: paths, sculptures and bridges. Here we see enigmatic concepts being projected like the Fibonacci sequence, fractals, black holes or DNA structure, as well as other elemental binomials like birth and death or good and evil.

    When we began the garden, I was not concerned with the larger issues of the cosmos. But over the years, they came more and more to the fore and I have used them as a spur to think about nature and to contemplate and speculate on the origins of the universe. And in that respect, this garden is part of a long historical tradition. Japanese Zen gardens, Persian paradise gardens, the English and French Renaissance gardens played out the story of the cosmos as it was understood then. So the idea of the garden as a microcosm of the universe is quite a familiar one. In fact, I feel it is the most compelling motive to create a garden. What is a garden if not a celebration of our place in the universe?

    Like so, Jencks describes his work with emotive eloquence fully confirming the reflexive nature shared amongst gardening, contemplation and spiritual growth.

    Tagged: gardening, gardens, gardens of the world, Garden of Cosmic Speculation, Charles Jencks Credits: Photos by: (Paulus Maximus)