The folly was invented to build "new" ruins into 18th century English landscape gardens. Copies of Roman temples and tumbled castle walls brought romance of the ancient world into the modern one. This same idea can bring a sense of history or perhaps just a feel for the ancient to new landscapes as well.
A view of Philip Johnson's Glass House, in New Canaan, Connecticut.
It is difficult to pinpoint when the living roof jumped from eco-fantasy to eco-solution — there have been startling and innovative green roofs all across the country and in Europe seemingly forever. But in my mind, technology and design caught up with the dream in 2008 when a sweeping marvel of native plants, wildflowers, and engineering was built atop San Francisco’s California Academy of Sciences.
This year’s finds include Thierry Dalcant’s multilevel space, with four distinct environments.
As an Englishwoman and a gardener, I swear undying allegiance to my country. But during the frenetic British garden show season from May to September, the one event I secretly look forward to most is in France.
Photo by Debi Treloar/Ryland Peters & Small
With spring bringing flowers aplenty, gardeners again have the pleasure of readily available blooms begging to be brought indoors. Two books arrive with the season this year to remind us that living with nature in the house takes many forms.
Garrett Eckbo’s designs integrate indoor and outdoor living, providing “maximum pleasure with limited maintenance,” says Charles A. Birnbaum, president of the Cultural Landscape Foundation.
This article appeared in the March 2012 issue as "Garden Great."
In November, Frank Cabot, founder of the Garden Conservancy, which is devoted to garden preservation, passed away at age 86. Even before he died, the garden community could not say enough good things about him. Below, a few words said in recent years about the financier-turned-green thumb.