Nature and Artifice in the Tudor Garden
In 1927, Gertrude Jekyll wrote, “A Tudor garden, full of painted rails, carved posts, clipped yews and primitive flowers, looks tawdry and thin to our eyes ...”. This inaccurate view of 16th and early 17th century gardens has lingered. Recent research, however, has revealed that gardens of the period were a complex combination of artifice (witty fountains, puzzling labyrinths and splendid banqueting houses) and nature, the latter in the form of ‘wildernesses’, ambitious earthworks and water gardens. These dramatic landscapes became the perfect theatres for the spectacles and entertainments of Elizabeth’s reign.