The regular gardens of the magnificent baroque palaces of France provided an ideal landscaping opportunity. The resulting happy marriage of functional architecture with the elegant, geometric complexity of the French park is reflected in the IL NATURE project at Zhukovka, near Moscow, which presents an outstanding example of this harmonious union.
IL NATURE landscape architects have transformed the vast five-cornered shape into a masterpiece of topiary art that would have been appreciated by the Sun King himself. Most of the garden is dominated by the duplex brick-house, with dramatic wooden features, rectangular pillars, balcony and terrace. The building seamlessly blends with its setting, so much so that the reflection of the trees and grassed areas in the large facade windows seems a logical extension of the landscaping.
European lime Pallidas have been pruned so their crowns match the flat roof of the house. These limes also form a rectangular ornament, echoed by the economical composition of the rectangular flowerbeds and cross-shaped walks. Eight Silverleaf Maples form two squares, framed by a hedge, and this geometric meticulousness is in contrast to the intricate ornamentation of the creative topiary.
Vivid clusters of hydrangeas and elegant roses add a sparkle to the rolled lawn variations and beds of ornamental grasses. Sculptural shrubs, such as Diels Cotoneaster, White Dogwood and Spiraea Cinerea, are enhanced by lilac, wahoo, shadbush and snowball.
The Zhukovka garden is a kaleidoscope of enchanting images. Pine and fir trees stand out in this impressive landscape theatre, in which each flower and blade of grass also play their part.
Here, in the words of a Japanese poet, “each small bush is invited to the holiday”, and “holiday” is probably the key word of this project, the imaginative topiary providing a break from the everyday routine of the aristocratic origin of the regular park and its marvelous palace’s past.