GardenDishes

dishin' the DIRT on hit and myth landscaping

Are YOU a Garden Design Renaissance Man/Woman?

After a few weeks of HOW-TO’s in landscape design on this blog, ran across this example of possibly the most sane way to do landscaping…..hire OTHERS to do it for you! During the Renaissance Era, often a hired-gun designer came through town and wealthy land-owners paid him to spruce up their place in the latest style – this one a French formal kitchen or potager garden. (Wonder why we never hear of any women designers in the Renaissance? Guess they were too busy posing ample bodies for portraits.)

There are so many cool things to notice in this painting that tell us this was probably a real garden in a real village:

  • the arbor structure, most likely for grapes used in making a local wine;
  • raised beds allowing for good drainage and room to add plenty of composted manure, readily available and great for improving soil;
  • pots with small trees – possibly citrus – that can be moved inside during freezing temps;
  • a barrier to keep the sheep (or in my case, DEER) out;
  • shade trees limbed up to allow for better air circulation and sun to the garden;
  • similarly bordered and laid out in a geometric pattern, giving it the traditional French formality;
  • nice open paths so wheelbarrows can get through easily and so the shallow veggie root systems don’t get trampled.

My favorite part is in the lower left-hand corner, the guy digging out sod to increase the beds with a woman telling him how to do it.  Hmmm.  Maybe we are getting to see the REAL landscape designer at work here. Now THAT’S a how-to I LIKE!

"Preparing the Flower Beds" (1625), by Flemish artist Brueghel the Younger

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