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History of Arts and Crafts Gardens

Arts and Crafts gardens grew out of the English contempt for the Victorian philosophies of grandeur, geometric plantings of annuals, winding paths and exotic plant oddities. Instead, the Arts and Crafts style drew nostalgic ideals from earlier times, the Medieval times and Renaissance. There were more influences as well that worked their way into the landscape architecture of the Arts and Crafts gardens including a strong Italian influence, many Japanese influences, as well as influence from the Moors and Spanish. In America, the Arts and Crafts gardens were most utilized in Southern California near Pasadena. The strongest influence in the arena of American Arts and Crafts gardens would be two brothers, Charles Sumner and Henry Mather Greene. The Greene Brothers were Architects that designed and built wood bungalows but also had very much to do with both the gardens that these bungalows were built in as well as the interiors. Their influence was most deeply from the Japanese and Italian cultures. Half way across the world, Gertrude Jekyll defined the British ideals of the Arts and Crafts garden. Instead of bungalows, Ms. Jekyll designed around country cottages. Her largest influence was that of the medieval English times. Her best-known project may be Munstead Wood. Her perennial borders were 10ft wide with an abundance of color throughout the seasons. Sundials, statues, vases, and benches were often used in her gardens as a focal point in each outdoor room that was created along the path.

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