Waddesdon Manor

The Garden as Art -- The European Tradition


Your Facilitator:  Lorraine Sherry
Cell phone: 303-807-0609

E-mail: lorraine.sherry@comcast.net
Home phone: 303-465-4361                  


This is not a horticulture course about "how to grow a better rose bush." It's an art course focusing on the ways in which garden design reflects the cultural milieu and spirit of the time in which it is created. Earlier courses in this series dealt with the history of world garden design and American, tropical, and specialty gardens. In 2011, we examined three important roots of garden design: Paradise gardens, Asian gardens, and English naturalistic gardens. In this course, we will focus on the evolution of the European formal garden, a branch of landscape design that evolved from the ancient walled courtyard gardens, reached its pinnacle during the Italian Renaissance and French Baroque periods, and spread throughout the European Continent and beyond. Our Guest Speaker will be Professor Bradley Goetz, Chair of the Landscape Architecture Department at CSU Fort Collins. If you missed the earlier courses, you'll find some background information on the class website (below) under The Basics.


Course Format: The format of the course is lecture/PowerPoint presentations, videos, and Q/A -- this is NOT primarily a discussion course. Presentations will be given by Lorraine Sherry and Brad Goetz. We will see several videos from Penelope Hobhouse's DVD Set: "The Art & Practice of Gardening." There is no textbook for this course; resources are available on the class website.

Learning Objective:  Participants will gain an understanding of various types of world gardens as a reflection of the prevailing culture and the spirit of the times.

Class Website: Participants should have access to a computer in order to view the Online Reading Assignments on this class website. It is strongly suggested that you read each online assignment. It would also be a good idea to print out the timelines.


Class Schedule [Feb. 28, 2013 class is cancelled]

Week 1: Feb. 21

Early Formal Gardens of Greece and Rome

Week 2: Mar. 7

From the Middle Ages to the Renaissance

Week 3: Mar. 14

Andre Le Notre and the French Baroque

Week 4: Mar. 21

Everyone in Europe wants a Versailles!

Week 5: Mar. 28

Prof. Bradley Goetz, Landscape Architecture, CSU

Week 6: April 4

The Changing Face of American Gardens



The Basics

Gardens and Culture
Garden Design Philosophy
Examples of Garden Types and Styles
Paradise Gardens - Key Concepts
Formal Gardens - Key Concepts
Italian Renaissance Art Movements
English Naturalistic Gardens - Key Concepts
Landscape Design as an Art Form
References: Books
Garden Glossary

Online Reading Assignments

Wikipedia: Garden Design
Jump to: Renaissance and Formal Gardens

Wikipedia: French Formal Garden

Timeline Part I
Early Formal Gardens of Greece and Rome

Timeline Part II
From the Middle Ages to the Renaissance

Timeline Part III
Andre Le Notre and the French Baroque

Timeline Part IV
Everyone in Europe Wants a Versailles!

Timeline Part V
The Changing Face of American Gardens


Recommended Books

Chen, Gang. (2007). Planting Design Illustrated. Denver CO: Outskirts Press, Inc.
ISBN 1-4327-0379-X

Hobhouse, P. (1992). Gardening Through the Ages. NY: Simon & Schuster.
ISBN 0-671-72887-3

Rogers, E.B. (2001). Landscape Design: A Cultural and Architectural History. NY: Abrams.
IBSN 978-0-8109-4253-0

Adams, W.H. (1991). Nature Perfected: Gardens Through History. NY: Abbeville.
IBSN 0-89659-919-1

Van Zuylen, G. (1994). The Garden: Visions of Paradise. London: Thames & Hudson, New Horizons.
IBSN 0-500-3055-0


Website updated February 5, 2013
E-mail Lorraine Sherry