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: Comment
Within a month of the destruction by fire of the roof and flèche (crossing spire) of Notre Dame in Paris, proposals by architects for their replacement abound. Why are these designs so awful? The answer is simple: they lack respect. … 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
I was reading an article about the 1974 V&A exhibition about the Destruction of the Country House. It cited a Guardian review of the time, to the effect that why should we care that the houses of wealthy (or once … Continue reading
Looking back at the controversy over the restoration of Chartres cathedral, and a look at some commentary available on-line: an article in the Spectator in 2012 by Alasdair Palmer (http://www.spectator.co.uk/arts/arts-feature/7836868/restoration-tragedy/), a blog by Martin Filler in the New York Review … Continue reading
‘Someone, he [Austerlitz] added, ought to draw up a catalogue of types of buildings listed in order of size, and it would be immediately obvious that domestic buildings of less than normal size—the little cottage in the fields, the hermitage, … Continue reading
‘An Australian, however well-informed, simply cannot distinguish between a piece of Trust House timbering and a genuine Tudor building; an Englishman however uncultured knows at once …’. [Evelyn Waugh to John Betjeman, cited in A.N. Wilson’s Biography of Betjeman, 2007, … Continue reading