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The Baroque garden: A desire for playful shapes

Whether it be a magnificent castle complex or a small private ornamental garden: Gardens have always served as a distraction and as objects of pleasure. The way they are designed always tells you something about the relationship between people and nature.

The human predilection to put nature in its place has been a driving force for centuries. In olden times, magnificent complexes were created using colourful flowers, sparkling water and imaginative features. This is particularly clear in one of the most famous and magnificent baroque gardens of all: At the Palace of Versailles in France. In the middle of the 17th century, the brilliant landscape architect André Le Nôtre made the vision of King Louis XIV a reality by turning a marsh area into a green kingdom which would be unique in terms of its splendour.

Disciplined nature as an expression of power

The basic principles of this typical French garden style included creating a virtually perfect arrangement: Geometric segregation with main and secondary axes formed by channels, ponds and right-angled pathways. The most beautiful feature of the baroque garden was, however, the arabesque pattern. Decoratively shaped bed patterns were especially formed using small boxwood hedges. White gravel was used for the spaces between them, to create an enchanting contrast against a grass background. Special charm was created through touches of colour in the form of summer flowers which gave beds an animated overall feel.

Stylish ideas for your own garden

Baroque-style gardens are very much in vogue and can be recreated effectively using a few simple tricks. Box, privet or evergreen yew topiary hedges should be laid symmetrically and at right angles or in a star shape. Plants with sublime flowers such as white madonna lilies, magnificently full peonies and fuchsias simply exude baroque elegance. These plants are also suitable for use in stone bowls or terracotta pots. Stone planters are shown off to particularly great advantage raised up on stone columns at the end of pathways, whilst fountains and gargoyles ripple happily in the garden.


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