Nestled in the picturesque hills of Scotland, there is a special garden that reaches out and embraces the universe. It’s a mesmerizing place filled with meaning for the alert onlooker. Cryptozoology lovers will appreciate the thought, time, and meaning that went into creating this lovely wonder of the world.
In 1988 Charles Jencks and his wife Maggie Keswick Jencks broke ground and began creating a very special garden that would ultimately become a “30-acre exploration of science, creativity, cosmology, chaos, and the universe” per the Scotsman.com. The garden is situated on the land surrounding the family home called Portrack House in Dumfries, Scotland. Sadly, Maggie Jencks passed away in 1995 of cancer, but Charles has dedicated the garden to her and continued the work of bringing something a little magical to the landscape.
Jencks, an American theorist and landscape architect (photo left), began the project when he and his wife dug a pond for their children to use as a swimming pool. It has since become what they described as a “celebration of nature and discovery.”
Jencks believes that science is a creative process that presents us with truths about the universe and the beauty found in patterns. His garden is a reflection of that belief.
The garden still possesses those lovely old-fashioned elements that we value in our yards. There are beautiful scents and lovely vistas, and pleasing color combinations. The sound of the garden interacting with the world around it such as bees buzzing and breezes blowing, also adds to the tranquil experience.
Expanding the Experience
However, Jencks adds modern twists to his landscape, evoking the scientific, exploratory side of our interaction with the universe. There are new tools and some artificial materials.
Jencks said, “Gardens are like whispering games in which the key is to pass on meaning even as it changes. They may reach momentary equilibrium, but they should never be pickled or remain static.”
The garden is presented in several areas, each with a theme. There is a Geometric Kitchen Garden of the Six Senses, Glengower Hill plantation, and the Universe Cascade of Gleaming White Steps, as well as many others. According to Jencks, each area represents a leap (or point) in time from the 15 billion year development of our universe.
Incredibly, this wonderful garden is only open one day a year for five hours! It opens in conjunction with the Scotland Open Garden scheme. Reports indicate there are long lines to get inside the grounds on that special day. (Portrack House, above.)
There is a fee to get in, but 40% of the funds go to Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres, where women can get help and treatment for cancer. Jencks founded these centers and named them in honor of his wife.
I’ll let the pictures do the talking. Enjoy!
Jencks recently announced the upcoming opening of a new garden that he calls the Crawick Multiverse located in Dumfries and Galloway. He located this new garden on top of an old cast coal mine. He used earth from that mine and approximately 2000 boulders to create the newly healed and beautiful landscape attraction. Some of the boulders are arranged to look like old megalithic monuments.
He says this landscape contains themes inspired by space, astronomy, and the cosmos. Paths lead you from one area to the next, where you’ll find tributes to the “….Sun, comets, black holes, galaxies and even other universes.”
He even included an amphitheater that holds up to 5,000 people. Jencks said, “This former open cast coal site, nestled in a bowl of large rolling hills, never did produce enough black gold to keep digging. But it did, accidentally, create the bones of a marvelous ecology. The landscape had to be healed, it had to welcome the nearby communities of Sanquhar, Kelloholm, and Kirkconnel, and help restore the locality both economically and ecologically – and so the Crawick Multiverse, a new version of an old scientific idea, was born.”
This garden is set to open on the summer solstice, June 21, 2016.
I think these are lovely, creative, and sort of mysterious places. I’d love to visit them. Would you?