Persian garden tour April and May 2014 Iran

Persian Gardens have a 2500 years history. They overcome environmental constraints and manifest the cultures and beliefs of people living in an often-harsh climate. In collaboration with the Iranian Society of Landscape Professionals (ISLAP) offer a specialized tour and workshop called “Taste Paradise”. This is a unique opportunity for Landscape professionals, architects, botanists and Landscape […]

Iran landscape architecture, urban design and politics

I share the general optimism about Iran’s new President, Hassan Rouhani, and Iran’s future. Many of the country’s problems were caused by western interventions. Others are indigenous. My own experience of Iranians is that they are kind, courteous and peaceful. This has made it difficult for me to understand their demonisation in the west. The […]

Bagh-e Fin garden in Iran – restoration and conservation plan

When visiting the Bagh-e Fin, on 15th June 2004, one of the curators noticed me in a painful position outside his office. I was taking a photograph. He asked why I was doing it. I said I was interested in garden history. He asked if I thought the Bagh-e Fin was of equal historical importance […]

Buddhist Gardens and the Dragon Garden in Shey, Ladakh

If anyone would like a (free) ticket, I am giving a lecture about the influence of Buddhism on garden design – to be followed with a lecture by Simon Drury-Brown on the design of the Dragon Garden for the Druk White Lotus School in Ladakh, India. Tickets are available from Eventbrite. The design of the […]

Food glorious food

Modern life presents numerous paradoxes. Perhaps the first is the widespread trade in food produce and the convenience of supermarket shopping, that has somehow alienated society from the concept that all food is land or sea based. And this means – land area & sea area – must be used, managed and preserved for this […]

Masdar City Two & Abu Dhabi landscape planning

Without knowing too much about Masdar City, I am sceptical about Norman Foster’s proposals. So my suggestion is to develop a Masdar City Two with its focus on using a happy blend of traditional technology with as-little-as-necessary high technology. I would have David MacKay as the energy supremo and Hasan Fathy (had he not died […]

A Persian garden pavilion, with Ardashir and Gulnar

I wish Iran would devote less effort to enriching uranium and more to enriching Iranian gardens and conserving  Persian gardens. Persia was one of the central powers in garden history, drawing upon and influencing Mesopotamia, Central Asia, India and Islam. My own modest proposal for conserving the Bagh-e Fin will be the subject of a […]

Gardens for the soul

How will we define the gardens of the future if many are no longer dominated by greenery? See Kengo Kuma & Associates water/glass villa Do plants have to be vegetable? Solar panels reminiscent of vegetation and slim line turbines feature as technological ‘plants’ in the Lotus Garden for Seoul. What happens when city […]

Where was the world's first garden made?

Cultivation and the domestication of plants began in the Levantine Corridor, which runs from Dead Sea to the Damascus Basin, and quite probably outside Jericho. This is known because the earliest domesticated plants are all native to this region and radio-carbon dating reveals that horticultural activity began c9,000 BCE. Plants were cultivated by hand and […]