Gardens at the Frontier addresses broad issues of interest to architectural historians, environmental historians, garden writers, geographers, and other scholars. It uses different disciplinary perspectives to explore garden history’s thematic, geographical, and methodological frontiers through a focus on gardens as sites of cultural contact. The contributors address the extent to which gardens inhibit or further cultural contact; the cultural translation of garden concepts, practices and plants from one place to another; the role of non-written sources in cultural transfer; and which disciplines study gardens and designed landscapes, and how and why their approaches vary.

Chapters cover a range of designed landscapes and locations, periods and approaches: medieval Japanese roji (tea gardens); a seventeenth-century garden of southern China; post-war Australian ‘natural gardens’; iconic twentieth-century American modernist gardens; ‘international’ willow-pattern design; geology and designed landscapes; gnomes; and landscape authorship of a public garden. Each chapter examines transfers of cultural ideas and their physical denouement. This book was originally published as a special issue of Studies in the History of Gardens & Designed Landscapes.

chapter |4 pages


Gardens at the frontier: new methodological perspectives on garden history and designed landscapes
ByJames Beattie

chapter |12 pages

Chinese sources in the Japanese tea garden

ByRichard Bullen

chapter |15 pages

China on a plate: a willow pattern garden realized

ByJames Beattie

chapter |12 pages

Zheng Yuanxun’s ‘A Personal Record of My Garden of Reflections’

ByDuncan M. Campbell

chapter |11 pages

The cultural history of the garden gnome in New Zealand

ByIan C. Duggan