Chinese gardens - fenestrations (windows and doors)
All of this would be exceedingly claustrophobic were it not for the extensive use of windows and doors to relieve the solidity of the divisions. Like most, I was familiar with the round moon gate, but I was surprised at the diversity of window and door openings I saw in the gardens of Suzhou.
When people hear I have a master's degree in Garden History, their first response is often to laugh. It does have something of the underwater-basket-weaving ring to it. Next they're surprised, as I myself was initially, to find out that it is in fact a serious and scholarly 'field' of study; much like architectural history, only about landscapes instead of buildings. Then, then, they're fascinated. It only takes a little explaining for them to catch on that gardens are so much more than just a pretty place. So much more than just a collection of plants. I hope to share what, and why, with this blog.
History begins with the last moment. So this blog will also include recent garden history...spaces and objects of interest now, as well as what is past. No generation has a lock on what is beautiful or innovative, so the best understanding, the best design, the most satisfying garden places, have something of both past and present, now and then.