The Ornamental Wilderness in the English Garden


The Ornamental Wilderness in the English Garden Author: Format: Hardback First Published: Published By: Unicorn Publishing Group
string(3) "296"
Pages: 296 Illustrations and other contents: 142 Illustrations, unspecified Language: English ISBN: 9781914414350 Categories: , ,

The Ornamental Wilderness in the English Garden reinterprets the English formal garden of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries through the perspective of a typical feature of those gardens, the ornamental grove, called a wilderness. The wilderness became a prominent, indeed defining, feature of the formal gardens of this period. In its mature form, the wilderness constituted most or the whole of the garden and the setting in which all other features were placed. This book is the first to examine comprehensively the contemporary literary and historic associations with groves and trees and to analyse how contemporary garden writers described and prescribed the features of a wilderness. After discussing continental precedents in their use of boschetti and bosquets, the book traces the history and development of the English wilderness through a typology of distinct types of wilderness as it changed over time. The book then addresses what happened to the wilderness and its relationship to the later landscape garden of the second half of the eighteenth century. Finally, the book explores how the wilderness expressed contemporary notions of taste that valued variety, surprise, cultural incident and a seeming naturalness achieved through artifice. For a few generations, before tastes and gardens changed, the wilderness provided a world of its own, shady and private, the scene of solitary meditation as well as social activity and delight, a place where art and culture combined with nature, an important feature within the garden that expanded to be the setting for the whole of the garden.

Weight0.71687 kg




There are no reviews yet.

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.

‘James Bartos, a proper garden historian, leads us along these sanded [wilderness] paths. He has done his homework and discusses various types of wilderness, accompanied by the plans and bird’s eye views that make the study of past gardens such a pleasure … there remain places where we can still experience them, now armed with fresh understanding thanks to this excellent book.’ Steven Desmond, Country Life “A poignant read that details how the concept of wilderness helped shape the formal English garden during the 17th and 18th centuries." Gardens Illustrated ‘For inspiration on wilderness layout, read The Ornamental Wilderness in the English Garden by James Bartos, a scholarly work crammed with maps, plans and bird’s-eye views of historical wildernesses.’ Tilly Ware, Country Life “This handsome and well-illustrated volume offers a detailed appraisal of the ornamental wilderness in England, principally from c.1680 to 1750. This is the first book-length treatment of the wilderness as an important garden feature and presents a highly readable and detailed account of their evolution and eventual decline. … This is a rich and engaging study, which has much to offer garden, landscape and environmental historians as well as the general reader.” Sarah Spooner, Garden History

Author Biography

James Bartos was awarded a PhD in Garden History from Bristol University in 2014. He has published in the journals Garden History and Die Gartenkunst. From 2015­­–2020 he was Chairman of the Gardens Trust, a national charity devoted to the conservation of historic parks and gardens in England. Over the past 25 years, he has created a new garden in Dorset.