This sculpture garden was created by Charles Jencks, a renowned landscape architect and theorist, and Maggie Keswick, his late wife. They chose their home, Portrack House, to be the location for their dream.
Located near Dumfries, South-west Scotland, the sculpture garden covers 30 acres and has an unusual design, which was inspired by contemporary cosmology, just like much of Charles Jencks’ works. The masterpiece, that they created features landscape and sculptures based on the Big Bang, geometric fractals, twisting DNA helixes, and black holes.
The couple planned the garden carefully. They met with scientists and horticulturists, in order to come up with a design of a landscape, that would blend nature, science, and art. The sculptured garden is a representation of an unconventional approach.
Even though this masterpiece is not home to plant diversity, still its snail-like curves and symmetry are greatly appealing. The garden is comprised of 5 major areas, which are connected by numerous artificial lakes, large white staircases, bridges, and zigzag terraces. All of the different incorporated architectural works are used for representing the universe creation story.
Nature is used through the senses and intellectually. The steps of a water cascade are used for recounting the universe story. The presence of a terrace is for the purpose of showing the space and time distortion which is yielded by a black hole. The lakes and landforms series are used for recalling fractal geometry while the Quark Walk takes visitors of this place on an excursion to the smallest matter building blocks.
This private garden often remains closed for the public, except for only 1 day each year. The garden is open to visitors one day only, through the Gardens program of Scotland. Often visitors are allowed during the first Sunday of May and the number of visitors is limited to around 5,000. The money raised from the one-day admission is given to Maggie’s Centres. This is a cancer care foundation, that was named after the late wife of Jencks.
This sculpture garden even managed to inspire music by Michael Gandolfi, an American composer, which in 2009 was nominated for Grammy after being produced by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.