English-style Formal Gardens

When it comes to "cross-pollination," it's for more than just the bees!
The English have long been renowned for their landscape gardening, with
countless fantastic examples. But did you know that some of the greatest
English gardens have inspired similar rivals across the Atlantic in America?
American art collector and patron Robert Allerton built one of the
finest country estates in the American mid-west, in the state of
Illinois, south of Chicago. Beginning at the turn of the century,
Allerton Park grew from a modest vegetable garden and Brick Wall garden
to support the main house, to acres of formal gardens with imported
marble and bronze statuary.
Allerton purchased bronze originals from Carl Milles and Auguste Rodin
in the 1920s and 30s, as well as earlier marbles from Italy and Beijing
in the 1910s.
Robert Allerton's favourite flower was the peony, and his peony garden
is over 120 meters long, arranged in a rainbow. The peony garden reaches
its peak of glory in late May, when they're all abloom.
Other gardens, such as the Chinese Maze Garden and Brick Wall Garden,
feature trained espalier fruit trees growing against the backing walls.
Privet and wisteria are common in these gardens.
It's worth a visit, but if you can't make the trip abroad, discover all
there is to know about Allerton Park in the book "Inside Allerton: The
Essential Guide to Robert Allerton Park." Take a historical tour of the
century-old main home and gardens. Historic photos, architectural
drawings, and contemporary color photos bring the story of this
fantastic American estate to life!
"Inside Allerton" is available now on Amazon.com, or at many other
booksellers such as B&N.
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Reply to
David Finnigan
The concept of an English garden with which I am familiar is actually informal. They are very carefully planned to look as if they are not planned at all. They must have color.
Formal gardens with symmetry are a French concept. They too must have color. However, there are many French-style gardens in England. Hampton Court is one example.
Reply to
David E. Ross
Indeed. As Allerton Park evolved over a roughly 40-year period from 1900 to 1940, the changes in taste and style are reflected in both the home and garden. The rise of Art Deco and Art Moderne in the late 20s and into the 1930s is clearly evident in both how the gardens were redesigned, and the home decorations.
The earliest gardens on the estate were directly modeled from English precedents, but certainly by the 1920s and 1930s, there were far wider influences, particular the far east.
Reply to
David Finnigan

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