implementation of the park design, with priority given to making
the entire space usable, is a good idea that I fully support.
This does not mean that the upper area is the only part of the
park in need of design. The park should be treated as a whole
design problem with a whole solution to be implemented in
phases. One of the implications of this approach is that the
upper area of the park should fit stylistically with the lower
portion. Straight lines, circular forms, hedges, intricate
lampposts, gazebos, and rose gardens are all elements found in
formal and semi-formal garden design. To abandon this precedent now would be to turn our backs on the original
designer's intent. A somewhat formal approach also fits with the style of the rather large and
imposing character of the surrounding homes. Good design considers the larger landscape in
which the park will be featured.
In our mission statement for this project we state that our design will reflect "the needs of the
neighborhood, the historic character of the winery, and the spirit of Thomas Church." I don't
think that any of these bases for design should take a back seat to any other. It might be a good
idea, at this point in our design process, to revisit some of the earlier gardens and ideas of Thomas Church:
Church adopted a theory...which recognized three sources of form. The first consisted of human needs and the specific personal requirements and characteristics of the client (user). The second comprised the technology of materials, construction, and plants, including maintenance and a whole range of form determinants derived from the site conditions and quality. The third was a concern for the spatial expression, which would go beyond the mere satisfaction of requirements and into the realms of fine art.
Church developed an
aesthetic theory based on cubism. A garden should have no beginning and no end and it should be pleasing when seen from any angle, not only from the
house. Asymmetrical lines were used to create greater apparent dimensions. Simplicity of
form, line and shape were regarded as more restful to look at and easier to maintain.
Form, shape, and pattern in the gardens were provided by pavings, walls, and espaliered or
trained plants (Laurie 56).
Laurie, Michael, An
Introduction to Landscape Architecture,New York: Elsevier,1986.