The Idea of Villa Castagna
A garden is both a real place, and a cloud of possibilities. What you will find here will be both something real, and something that may or may not become real. For this reason you will find no map: Instead you will meet fragments, part real, part possible.
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- Garryea elliptica over the Clough Williams-Ellis seat.Evening light on bare-leafed chestnut trees.Luckily during the big storm we had the painter JMW Turner staying with us. At the storm’s height he went out, lashed himself to a tree, and painted this. He calls it ‘Storm Scene: Hannibal crossing Wombat Hill’.Evening light.Tulip tree and ignem ne gladio fodias fenceAutumn leaves. Rowan and silver birch.
Category Archives: Arts and Crafts Movement
[This paper discusses a category of building that is related to, and sometimes overlaps with, the pavilion: the fabrique. The fabrique is not to be confused with the folly, although both are found in parks and gardens and the terms … Continue reading
The trauma of the First World War seems to have manifested itself in the ‘silly ass’ artistic culture of the 1920s. Novelists like Margery Allingham, and even Dorothy L. Sayers, created their detective heroes as upper class twits who took … Continue reading
Some of William Morris’s bon mots have not worn well. In the local gift shop they have chalked up the phrase ‘Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’. But … Continue reading
At the National Trust’s Biddulph Grange garden in England they have a little terraced gardens in the section called ‘Italy’ which has four small monkey puzzle trees in a little box-edged parterre centred on a stone vase (Figs 1–3). This … Continue reading
The most useful way of approaching Portmeirion is through the concept of the picturesque. Williams-Ellis (or, as everyone calls him, Clough) explains how he liked sailing around the Mediterranean and enjoyed the view of coastal towns from the sea. He … Continue reading
People don’t always get Portmeirion (Fig. 1). For example, it has been argued that it is a proto-Post-Modernist work, created by an architect trying to subvert the modernist norm long before Venturi and Scott-Brown came on the scene. But this … Continue reading
Goddard’s is an interesting house and garden in the suburbs of York (Fig. 1). It was designed by Walter Brierly, the Lutyens of York, and has many Lutyenesque moments. (It is not to be confused with Lutyens’ building with the … Continue reading
At Chastleton House there is a dovecote in the field over the road that is all that remains of another house there (Fig. 1). It dates from 1762. It is square in plan, with four arches on the ground floor … Continue reading
Irrelevant analogy of the week. In this detail of Marten van Heemskerck’s Momus Criticising the Works of the Gods in the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, there is a butterfly dovetail joining two panels. It seems that C. F. A. Voysey liked to put … Continue reading