Founded by American collector and heiress to the Post cereal empire, Marjorie Merriweather Post, Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens is one of the premier art collector's museums in the United States. The museum features the most comprehensive collection of Russian imperial art outside of Russia and a world-renowned collection of eighteenth-century French decorative art and furnishings. The collection includes Faberge eggs, Russian porcelain, Russian Orthodox icons, Beauvais tapestries, and Sevres porcelain. Encircled by woodlands, the twenty-five acre estate provides visitors a tranquil oasis of luscious formal gardens. Marjorie Merriweather Post commissioned two prominent landscape architects, Umberto Innocenti and Richard Webel, to design and build a garden that would complement her collection of eighteenth-century French furnishings and decorative arts displayed in the French drawing room of the mansion. Innocenti and Webel of Long Island, New York, designed a garden that featured all of the typical elements of an eighteenth-century parterre garden, scaled down to fit into a space already occupied by an enclosed garden with a fish pond. The garden at Hillwood is divided into quadrants separated by paths, with a shallow pool in the center. Each quadrant contains a low hedge of English boxwood tightly clipped into a fluid, organic pattern of scrolls. The French doors from the mansion's west wing open onto a terrace that features an elegant swan fountain of pink marble, dropping water into a basin lined with glass tiles. A small frog fountain spews water into a second basin at the opposite end of the garden. Water flows from both basins spilling over into limestone rills and rippling into the center pool, where lead putto riding a dolphin and a seahorse send a stream of water splashing into the middle of the pool. On a pedestal above the frog, a terra cotta statue of Diana, goddess of the hunt, seems to be walking out of the wooded area behind the garden, as if she is returning from the chase with her faithful dog at her side. White marble sphinxes are perched on the balustrade of the terrace, surveying the scene below. For more information visit the Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens' website: www.HillwoodMuseum.org
Now on display in the Morris Arboretum’s Madeleine K. Butcher Sculpture Garden is a new, original abstract sculpture, by internationally-renowned artist Patrick Dougherty. The intriguing, site-specific piece is titled The Summer Palace and was created by Dougherty, with the help of staff and more than 75 volunteers, during a three-week Arboretum artist residency. The finished work is constructed entirely of sticks and saplings, and consists of three rounded “layers” with a top that resembles the quintessential onion-dome characteristic of Russian and Byzantine architecture. The first layer of the piece, which is accessible to the public, features a spiraled interior and several “windows” which allow the viewer a “peek” inside. While striking in its size at just over 25 feet high, the structure maintains an earthy accessibility. Dougherty, who waits until each installation is complete before naming it, solicited input from visitors, volunteers and Arboretum staff before ultimately deciding on The Summer Palace. Reminiscent of Dr. Zhivago, the name also fittingly recalls how the Morris Arboretum began as the summer home of founders John and Lydia Morris. Patrick Dougherty’s artistry emerged just over two decades ago when he switched gears from health administration to focus on his love of art. His first medium was clay, but he quickly realized he wanted to work on a much larger scale. He turned to saplings, recognizing them as a plentiful and renewable resource - but also because he felt it was a material everyone could relate to. “People of all ages, and even animals feel some connection with sticks,” said Dougherty. In preparation for his arrival, truckloads of twigs and saplings, consisting mostly of willow, dogwood, maple and birch were gathered locally. For his part, Dougherty, who had previously visited the Arboretum and chosen the site for the installation, arrived with only a snail shell he had found in his North Carolina yard as inspiration. He was intrigued by the idea of a spiral shape and the opportunities for imaginative discovery it could provide. After laying the groundwork, Dougherty and his helpers persevered through every kind of weather to intricately weave together the hundreds of saplings during his three-week residency. The sculpture quickly took shape, and evolved daily, taking on new characteristics. Dougherty at times referred to it as a pagoda or a layer cake – the excitement and anticipation about the final piece building steadily. Standing more than 25 feet tall and built without the use of nails or other supportive hardware, the finished piece is nothing short of extraordinary. Dougherty seemed pleased at the conclusion, and satisfied that the evocative sculpture will achieve what he hopes for with each of his installations. “To me, the true nature of art is its ability to enliven people’s imaginations and produce lots of personal associations,” he said. Children will delight in the opportunity it provides for discovery and adventure, while adults will be drawn in as they recall their own memories of childhood exploration. During his career, Patrick Dougherty has created more than 175 large-scale temporary structures worldwide. The Summer Palace will remain in place at the Arboretum for as long as it lasts in the natural environment, anticipated to be approximately two years. For more information about the exhibit please visit www.morrisarboretum.org. You can also learn more about Patrick Dougherty and view his other work at www.stickwork.net. This project is made possible with support from the Madeleine K. Butcher Fine Arts Endowment. The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania is located at 100 East Northwestern Avenue in Chestnut Hill. The 92-acre horticulture display garden features a spectacular collection of rare and mature trees in a Victorian landscape. The Arboretum features numerous picturesque spots such as a formal rose garden, Japanese gardens, swan pond, meadows, and the elegant Fernery. The Morris Arboretum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the official arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Preview of Lawrence Halprin Oral History Module Click on the above Preview... to see video of Lawrence Halprin. The Cultural Landscape Foundation has given their permission for us to access this Oral History of Lawrence Halprin Preview. Mr. Halprin, a landscape architect for over 50 years, designed Heritage Park in Fort Worth, Texas which has be designated to the National Register of Historic Places. See Heritage Park post of July 15, 2009 on CarlisleFlowers.net http://carlisleflowers.net/?p=3344 The Cultural Landscape Foundation website is: www.tclf.org
Heritage Plaza, the developed portion of Heritage Park in Fort Worth, Texas, was designed by landscape architect Lawrence Halprin. In the late 1960s Fort Worth’s Streams and Valleys, together with the philanthropic Amon G. Carter Foundation and Sid Richardson Foundation, Charles D. Tandy, and Ruth Carter Stevenson, commissioned Lawrence Halprin and Associates to design a public park that would commemorate the establishment of the original military post of Fort Worth in 1849 as well as the upcoming United States Bicentennial celebration in 1976. The result was Heritage Park Plaza.
The Plaza featured a series of terraced walkways that were accompanied by a stream of water. The water started at the high point of the site and flowed over two walls of water. The wall on the south side of the plaza is a sheer concrete wall with water that flowed over an inscription on the inside of the park. The west wall had water flowing over a diagram on the layout of the original fort, which occupied land to the west of the Plaza. Water used to flow through a series of troughs along side the walkways, with some troughs at eye level and others at foot level. The lowest part of the Plaza the water culminated in two waterfalls over the concrete. When the walkways reached the steepest part of the Trinity Bluff, there is an overlook, cantilevered over the bluff. The overlook offered an excellent view of the convergence of the Clear and West Forks of the Trinity River, the Paddock Viaduct (North Main Street Bridge) and the historic power plant situated across the river.
Under-maintained for years, in 2007 the Plaza’s pump stations were turned off and the park was fenced off from the public.
On December 8, 2008 the Texas Historical Commission determined that Heritage Park Plaza was eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places even though the Plaza was not yet 50 years old. It was eligible under Criterion C in the area of Landscape Architecture and Criterion G as a property that has achieved significance in the last 50 years because it is widely recognized as a work of exceptional significance in a modernist landscape design.
Many thanks to John Roberts of Historic Fort Worth, Inc. for the written information and photograph.Preservation Texas is the advocate for preserving the historic resources of Texas. www.preservationtexas.org
Formal gardens with a "plant palette of Mediterranian and indigenous plants to Zone 7 "including boxwoods, cherry laurels, spirea and annuals were used to create the four primary axises," said Joe Cugliotta of J. Cugliotta Landscape/Nursery Inc., the designer of this exhibit at the Philadelphia Flower Show sponsored by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society this past week. "Bella Italia." www.pennsylvaniahorticulturalsociety.org
The Philadelphia Flower Show drew a record 48,000 people on Saturday, March 7th, 2009. All toll, 245,000 attended the week long event. "Bella Italia" with ancient Roman gardens, a Venetian canal, views from the Alps, Milan's haute couture, and art in a Florence garden (with an Irish Blarney stone exhibit included too,) gave testament to the 3,500 volunteers' and 68 exhibitors' devotion to flowers and landscaping to support the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society in their 180th year's show. Next year's theme is "The World Gardens." Afterward a satisfying Philly cheese steak sub "with whiz" carried us home. www.PennsylvaniaHorticulturalSociety.org www.theflowershow.com