Thursday, April 10, 2008

Bellwood Plantation - the Gazebo

Tutor (driving like Jehu): Look at that gazebo!

Me: (scanning rapidly for something made of wood, roughly octagonal, with a pointed roof and maybe some trellis) Where? Where?

Tutor: There on the wall! Oh, you've missed it.

As I discovered, my idea of a 'gazebo' was somewhat limited. Though the etymological origins of the term are cloudy (it may refer to 'gazing', but maybe not) and the word wasn't really used until the 18th century, it has been applied as a general term for a small, roofed garden structure designed for looking out at the view.

My tutor was endeavoring to point out a gazebo in the tradition of this sixteenth century construction at Montacute, below: a stone structure, often attached to a wall, from which a Tudor lady hungry for any diversion in the boring countryside could watch the road without being seen herself. (image courtesy of the Somerset archives)

I, of course, was thinking of a gazebo in the tradition of the one pictured at Bellwood, which is both in its date and its styling a Victorian construct. Note that it looks to be surrounded by radiating paths; the segments between them would probably have been planted with flowers.

It is beautifully sited in the transition from house to wilderness, with graceful proportions and trellising to match that which softens the house's stoic Greek Revival facade. Someone with a sensitive aesthetic once inhabited Bellwood.


Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Lovely. I was thinking of the regular kind of gazebo too. A sensitive person too.~~Dee

Landscape Designer said...

What a wonderful blog!!

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