Synopses & Reviews
Unlike architecture, sculpture or painting, the art of gardening produces living works that grow, blossom, change, and fade. As such, the garden could be considered the supreme work of art, and indeed it has been so in all civilizations. A garden on any scale enhances the architecture it surrounds. What would Versailles have been without its spectacular gardens and their orderly vistas, or the great country houses in England without the eighteenth-century landscape designers? Likewise it is hard to imagine rural or urban houses in Colombia without their planned patios and courtyards.
The jagged geography of Colombia divides it into several contrasting regions: the Caribbean coast, Antioquia, Santander, Cundinamarca and Boyacá, the Cauca valley, and the plains of the Llanos, to mention a few. The climates and flora of these areas are markedly different, but their inhabitants share in common love for plants and a keen interest in gardening. Long before there were professional gardeners and landscape designers, all Colombians, from the wealthy hacendados to the modest campesinos, devised and planted their own gardens, according to personal taste and economic limitations.
A delightful eclecticism is captured in these pages in hundreds of photographs of every type of garden from extravagant parks to minute flowered niches. Experimentation is commonplace; each journey and Sunday excursion brings home additional plants. With the added factor of unpredictable rainfalls and prolonged droughts, most Colombian gardens are aesthetic and horticultural laboratories.
In the course of compiling the photographic material for this book, it proved impossible to include all gardens worthy of presentation, nor could all the gardens featured here be photographed at the peak of their splendor. Nevertheless, the attentive reader will be able to enjoy an impressive range of plants, color, composition and integration of cultivation with the natural landscape, which, in the absence of a great classical tradition, make up the particular charm of the Colombian garden.
Native Colombian plants, colors, and compositions in the country's finest gardens.
A by-product of the countrys climate diversity, gardens of Colombia are beautiful expressions of natural art. Beautiful photography and texts educate on natural plant species, their usage, meaning, location, and history.
About the Author
Benjamín Villegas is an architect and graphic designer. In 1985, he founded Villegas Editores with the support of renowned writers and photographers. He is currently developing publishing projects in various European and Latin American countries.