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Architect Tetsuo Kondo designed ‘A Path in the Forest’, a temporary installation that was found in the Kadriorg Park near Tallinn, Estonia. Kondo created a 95-meter (311-foot) walkway suspended among some of the park’s 300 year-old trees.

 

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Maybe its the hippy in me, or perhaps its my lifelong love of fluro but this to me is a perfect piece of land art (…can it be land art if its painted fluro??). Visible across the desert from Las Vegas, Nevada, and standing at a height of thirty to thirty five foot, are seven large scale totems built from balanced, painted, locally-sourced boulders.

Created by renowned Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone’s public artwork Seven Magic Mountains is an exhibition that will run for two years. This work sits actually and symbolically mid way between the natural and the artificial, between the mountains and the buzz of Las Vegas.

I only once planned to go to Las Vegas, with the crackpot idea that I would marry one of my best friends. Silly, of course, and thankfully we thought better of it in the cold light of day, however perhaps I could take the very same friend to visit this glorious work of art.

Or, perhaps there is a client brave enough, who would let me take this as inspiration for an stand out garden sculpture… come on client, show yourself!

Images from the Seven Magic Mountains website. These artworks were sponsored by The Nevada Museum of Art  and The Art Production Fund.

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Wondering down a mown pathway, with the dappled shade from many trees dancing on either side, I gaze ahead to see the reflections on a lake drawing me on.

I breathe in and turn right and step into a grove of wild cherry, Prunus avium, planted in a large square formation grid. The design, so regimented amongst the naturalistic planting, gives this grove so much sense of place. All around me tall pale tree trunks reach up to the sky, they look like pillars. The canopies above flutter and play with the light. It feels powerful and emotive, I am standing in natures church, happily worshipping its beauty.

I have been visiting Bryan’s ground for four years, each year I am delighted by its design and amazed at how quickly the garden is maturing in the rich loam of Herefordshire.

The house, owned by David Wheeler and Simon Dorrell, lies near Presteigne on the border between England and Wales and was built between 1911 and 1913. The gardens are home to 20 garden rooms, a rose garden, topiary, box pareterres, follies, long hedges, a ha-ha, a potager, a lake, a river and a thriving arboretum with long mown paths. It is a dream come true garden.

The planting is wonderful, sometimes colour themed, often very formal, at times very wild.

At the entrance, by the house, beautiful fruit trees line the scallop edged canal, they are underplanted with squares of 4ft-high Iris sibirica. If you come between mid May and early June you are greeted by thousands of these mass planted Iris in dazzling blue full bloom.

Full of anticipation, one flows from one garden room to the next, drawn on by the next peek of an urn, a gap in the hedges, or a jaunty building. It never disappoints, there is something special round every corner and down every path. The carefully curated vistas anchor the garden to the surrounding landscape and make you stop, gaze and wonder how you might be able to make it so you could stay here forever.

 

Bryan’s Ground, Stapleton (Nr Presteigne), Herefordshire (01544 260001;www.bryansground.co.uk). It will open again next spring to the public.

David Wheeler and Simon Dorrell are editors of Hortus magazine, a collection of essays and notes on horticulture. http://www.hortus.co.uk/

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The grid, Bryan’s Ground © Cat Howard

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Mown pathways, Bryan’s Ground © Cat Howard

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The canal, Bryan’s Ground © Cat Howard

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The house at Bryan’s Ground © Cat Howard

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The wonderful planting, Bryan’s Ground © Cat Howard

 

There are so many reasons for us to long for a trip to Japan, not least because of their wonderful ancient art of garden design.

Hoshinoya Karuizawa is a stunning hotel located in Karuizawa, Nagano, Japan.

The landscaped water gardens were designed by Hiroki Hasegawa. There is a natural hot spring at the heart of the hotel which sits in a valley at the foot of Mt. Asama. There are beautiful ancient trees, a river, small connecting bridges and winding scenic paths. The needs of the hotel and the existing natural environment are considered beautifully in the design, which is a triumph of serenity and meandering exploration.

What a wonderful place to rest ones head, cleanse the soul and inspire the mind.

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