hortus conclusus

< A garden is the most intimate landscape ensemble I know of. It is close to us. There we cultivate the plants we need. A garden requires care and protection. And so we encircle it, we defend it and fend for it. We give it shelter. The garden turns into a place.

Enclosed gardens fascinate me. A forerunner of this fascination is my love of the fenced vegetable gardens on farms in the Alps, where farmers’ wives often planted flowers as well. I love the image of these small rectangles cut out of vast alpine meadows, the fence keeping the animals out. there is something else that strikes me in this image of a garden fenced off within the larger landscape around it: something small has found sanctuary within something big.

The hortus conclusus that I dream of is enclosed all around and open to the sky. Every time I imagine a garden in an architectural setting, it turns into a magical place. I think of gardens that I have seen, that I believe I have seen, that I long to see, surrounded by simple walls, columns, arcades or the façades of buildings – sheltered places of great intimacy where I want to stay for a long time. > [Peter Zumthor, May 2011]

Hortus Conclusus (Peter Zumthor + Piet Oudolf) at the Serpentine Gallery London, until 16 October 2011.

 

 

[all images> Hortus Conclusus_the Serpentine Gallery Summer Pavilion_London, September 2011 by deconcrete]

 

 

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