Gardens and houses shall provide pleasure and meet our needs. They both should simply be designed for enjoyment. In 2008 landscape architectural office Landscape d.o.o. created, in cooperation with their client, an astonishing garden on the Slovenian coast. Stone, fragrant herbs and sculptures are the three fundamental elements representing the essence of this garden. The garden has been designed in such a way that it awakens all our senses.
STONE GARDEN OF FRAGRANT HERBS
When the notion of the Mediterranean appears in our thoughts, our mind becomes filled with the images of endless sea horizons, stone walls and abundant vegetation. When talking about the Mediterranean garden we can easily visualize a »Stone garden of fragrant herbs«. One such garden, reminiscent of Eden, has been designed by Landscape architects.
Could you tell us which fragrant herbs are suitable for planting in the Slovenian Primorska region, in Central Slovenia and in the colder areas (Upper Carniola)?
There are many various types of fragrant herbs, both – autochtonous and adopted. The following list contains a few fragrant herb varieties that are most typical of Primorska region: Lavandula angustifolia (lavender), Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary), Salvia officinalis (sage, different types), Saturea montana (savory), Santolina chamaecyparissus (cotton lavender), Thymus vulgaris (thyme), Origanum vulgare (wild marjoram). In the colder areas of Slovenia and in central Slovenia the following fragrant herbs can be planted in the sun-exposed areas: Allium schoenoprasum (chive), Artemisia dracunculus (tarragon), Melissa officinalis (lemon balm), Levisticum officinale (lovage), Rheum rhabarbarum (rhubarb), Ruta graveolens (rue), Thymus vulgare (thyme), Calendula officinalis (pot marigold). One can certainly be given more detailed information and advice by national and foreign herb societies, herb farms and specialized garden centres growing perennials.
How can scents affect an ambiance?
Scents do not affect only our ambiance, they have an impact on us as a whole. The sense of smell is one of the five basic senses that is essential for survival and it helps us detect scents that recall memories, stimulate feelings, and give warnings. Just like Proust’s madeleine cakes.
To what extent do you cooperate with architects when you design gardens?
The best garden stories have always been written within the framework of an interaction houses-gardens and vice versa. All these years we have been successfully cooperating with various architects and with most architectural offices in Slovenia. Our design studio was established in 1998 and our best projects, not just gardens, are the result of mutual flexibility and respect.
How was the idea of the »Stone garden of fragrant herbs« conceived?
The garden owner is otherwise an architect and he is also an avid antique fan. The two central motifs of this small garden are the autochtonous stone pavement and a sculpture of a girl. They have both been joined into a coherent whole that evokes all five senses (smell, touch, sight, hearing, taste) by means of classical but purified form and careful selection and placement of fragrant herbs, trees and shrubs.
Your garden design plans often include sculptures, statues and plastic arts. How do you select the »appropriate« piece of art?
Always in cooperation with a client since it is not about our personal preferences, but about a piece of art that an owner will most probably (since these are usually more expensive pieces of art) be watching and enjoying the sight of it his entire life.
Editorial: Anja Deržič, Awakening of all our senses
Text: Nina Štrovs, Stone garden of fragrant herbs
Photographs: Landscape d.o.o.
Location: Malija, Slovenian coast
Project year: 2008