I asked a friend: “What was your takeaway from the Arabella Lennox-Boyd lecture?” “She works for really rich people.”
With a few exceptions, the projects Lennox-Boyd showed were grand estates on huge pieces of property. One such long-term project is Eaton Hall, the seat of the Duke of Westminster, an 85 acre property with herbaceous borders over 296 ft. long and a 150 page maintenance guide for the gardeners penned by Lennox-Boyd.
Lennox-Boyd began her lecture with her childhood home, Palazzo Parisi, 60 K north of Rome. Her earliest earliest influences are memories of the Italian landscape: color, abundance, warmth and rhythm.
Magnificently designed, immense perennial borders, encyclopedic knowledge of perennials, shrubs and trees, detailed study of project sites, enormous consideration for the client’s requirements are the tell tale signs of a Lennox-Boyd garden.
The audience gasped as the slides rolled by. Pleached lime trees, red, yellow and white rose gardens, grass steps, water rills, even a camellia house… could not turn my head. Awed by Lennox-Boyd’s ability to create incredibly complicated spaces; I preferred two of her contemporary public spaces.
Some plants at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery: Pennisetum ‘Fairy Tales’ Narcissus ‘Toto’ Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah Stipa calamagrostis Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’ Aster ‘Little Carlow A.laevis ‘Calliope’ Cornus controversa ‘Variegata’ Hydrangea aspera ‘Villosa Group’ Anthericum liliago ‘Major’ Viburnum ‘Eve Price’
Maggie’s Centre was designed by Frank Gehry and built in 2003. Lennox-Boyd designed the garden.
The design is based on labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral in France. “This labyrinth has no dead ends. You trust your route through…It’s a mediative space. For patients it’s a private place, a place of contemplation.
Lennox-Boyd is not just a garden designer. She grows plants and trees from seed and has her own private arboretum. At age 79, she continues to take on major projects that challenge her imagination and creativity. I only hope that in my seventh decade, I will still be gardening, with the same enthusiasm as Arabella Lennox-Boyd.
A Designers Eye
Monday, October 30, 2017
New York Botanical Garden
19th Annual Landscape Design Portfolio Lecture Series