Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Frederick Gibberd's Sculpture Garden

I was introduced to the Gibberd garden on the latest Gardeners' World, when Carol Klein gave a tour of the garden's notable sculpture collection.

This is a drawing by Sir Frederick Gibberd of his plan for the columns he placed in his garden, which came from Coutts Bank in the Strand and impact as a sculptural feature.

I do love garden design drawings, and architectural drawings - the colours here are so soft and pleasing and you understand instantly what he is trying to achieve.

Sir Frederick Gibberd was an architect, designer and urban planner, so you would expect something accomplished in his garden plan.  However, there is real insight and a sensitive touch - his love of plants appears as deep as his love of architecture - cleverly combining all disciplines to be landscape architect.

The abstract nature of his garden is clearly influenced by the arts and crafts style, and the sculpture avidly collected by his wife.  I'm interested in how the sculpture is positioned in the garden, how the garden is made to fit round the sculpture, or designed specifically for it, how he in effect sculpted the garden.  Artistry in space, form, colour and texture - and clever thinking about how seasonal changes would affect the look.

Gibberd's ingenious placing of sculpture and objects in the garden, sometimes gently and other times for magnificent impact means the visitor is enticed and lured to sights and wowed with splendour.  He even changed his house, ripping out walls and replacing with windows to bring the outside in.

I think one of the stone sculptures in the garden sums it up - Tingle in the Backbone by Richard Strachey.  Chunks of Alabaster stacked on a base of Portland stone.


  1. Fascinating!

    I have passed on a blog award to you, hope that is ok, ignore if you hate that kind of thing!

  2. Belinda - it is really a great honour coming from your very wonderful Wild Acre! Yippee! Let's celebrate!

  3. I just posted a link to this wonderful post on my FB page: 'Serenity in the Garden blog'

    1. Jan, thankyou so much for the link - I'm going back now to explore your FB page. Thanks again and glad you like the blog.


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