Jumat, 18 November 2011

Top 5 Gardens (Part 2)

6. Dumbarton Oaks Washington D.C
You might feel as though you've stepped into a Merchant-Ivory set in any of the gardens that make up this estate at the north end of Georgetown, one of Washington's poshest neighborhoods. Vines tumble down stone walls enclosing the Fountain Terrace. Lovers' Lane meanders past a Roman-style amphitheater built around a small deep-blue pool. And what used to be a simple cow path leading away from the pool is now called Melisande's Allée, perhaps as a nod to the haunting opera Pelleas et Melisande.

7. Gardens of the Villa Éphrussi de Rothschild St.-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France
In the early 1900s, Béatrice Éphrussi, a Rothschild baroness, built a pink-confection, Venice-style villa surrounded by breathtaking gardens, with the sparkling sea beyond. Pathways meander through the seven themed gardens, the focal point being the French gardens, with a lily-pad-dotted pool, dancing fountains, and a Temple of Love replicating the Trianon at Versailles. There are also a Provençal garden, filled with olive trees and lavender; a lapidary garden, with sculptures too large to be displayed in the villa; and Spanish, Japanese, Florentine, and exotic gardens.

8. Stourhead Warminster, England
To the English gentry of the 18th century, the more classical something could be, the better. Stourhead is a grand example of genteel fascination with the past. Henry Hoare II punctuated the gardens of his Wilshire estate with re-created ruins and classical buildings such as the Pantheon and Temple of Apollo.

9. The Master-of-Nets Garden Suzhou, China
This residential garden in southeast China, called Wangshiyuan in Chinese, was designed during the Song dynasty (A.D. 960-1270). The arrangement of pavilions, halls, music rooms, winsome bamboo groves, and waterside perches is an exercise in natural harmony. The central section is a small world within itself; piles of yellow stones form "mountains" complete with caverns, and a tiny arched bridge called the "leading to quietude" crosses a pond to a small pavilion in the center.

10. Sans Souci Potsdam, Germany
Frederick the Great of Prussia built the splendid rococo palace as his summer place, where he could live without a care, sans souci. Busts of Roman emperors, decorative statues, and a Chinese teahouse dot the lavish grounds.

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