Gardens at the Frontier addresses broad issues of interest to architectural historians, environmental historians, garden writers, geographers, and other scholars. It uses different disciplinary perspectives to explore garden history’s thematic, geographical, and methodological frontiers through a focus on gardens as sites of cultural contact. The contributors address the extent to which gardens inhibit or further cultural contact; the cultural translation of garden concepts, practices and plants from one place to another; the role of non-written sources in cultural transfer; and which disciplines study gardens and designed landscapes, and how and why their approaches vary.
Chapters cover a range of designed landscapes and locations, periods and approaches: medieval Japanese roji (tea gardens); a seventeenth-century garden of southern China; post-war Australian ‘natural gardens’; iconic twentieth-century American modernist gardens; ‘international’ willow-pattern design; geology and designed landscapes; gnomes; and landscape authorship of a public garden. Each chapter examines transfers of cultural ideas and their physical denouement. This book was originally published as a special issue of Studies in the History of Gardens & Designed Landscapes.
Table of Contents
Preface Introduction – Gardens at the frontier: new methodological perspectives on garden history and designed landscapes 1. Chinese sources in the Japanese tea garden 2. China on a plate: a willow pattern garden realized 3. Zheng Yuanxun’s ‘A Personal Record of My Garden of Reflections’ 4. On loanwords and calques: where the language of design meets the language of geology 5. Gardens, history and the designer: contributions to historiography 6. Rethinking Australian natural gardens and national identity, 1950-1979 7. W.W. Smith and the transformation of the Ashburton domain ‘from a wilderness into a beauty spot’, 1894 to 1904 8. The cultural history of the garden gnome in New Zealand
James Beattie is Associate Professor of Science in Society at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. His work focuses on the Asia-Pacific region, mostly over the last 200 years. He is especially interested in cross-cultural exchanges occasioned by British imperialism, and the nexus between environments, gardens, health, and art. He is author of nine books and over 60 articles and chapters.