Portrack - Garden of Cosmic Speculation

Jumping Bridge. The Jumping Bridge "...jumps over two streams and dives into the ground. It is made from fractals that tilt against each other." Just north of Dumfries lies Portrack House, here Charles Jencks and his wife Maggie Keswick took a traditional garden and made a place where landscape, gardens, architecture and highly abstract ideas meet, and in some cases collide. The gardens are open annually as part of Scotland's garden scheme, money from which goes to the 'Maggie Centres' started by the couple in 1995. Photos were taken in 1999 when a seemingly large number of people attended - some 400. A second visit in 2019 was in the company of over 4,000 people. 'Looking after' the gardens has now passed to John, the couple's son. This page shows a fraction of the garden, for more, and for the source of the quotations, please consult Charles Jencks' book:
The Garden of Cosmic Speculation.
Wooden walkway leading to bridge. Walkway which leads between the parts of the Jumping Bridge Seat built into bridge. At the centre of the bridge is a symmetrical seat... Steps and rails of the bridge. ...between the asymmetric rails of the bridge Grass hook reaching into the main pond. "To relate the mound to the water we designed the tail of the snail in the shape of a French curve and brought it over the deep part of the pond" Grass isthmus between ponds. The 'Causeway' bisects, and... Two people sitting on the grass hook. ...the hook of the French Curve reaches into, the ponds Serpent mound with pond and isthmus. The serpent mound curves along beside the pond Looking at the serpent mound from the snail mound. Visitors admiring the serpent from the snail Looking up through trees at the field of bluebells. Looking along the causeway with the snail centre and the serpent to the right Sloping field of bluebells. The head of the serpent Fractal terrace paving and the snail mound beyond. Fractal Terrace and Snail Looking down at the Fractal Terrace by the entrance gate. By the entrance gate is the Fractal Terrace which starts in regular patterns (to the right above) leading from the rectangular wall beside it... Visitors walking over and looking down at the Fractal Terrace. ...and dissolves into the natural chaos on the garden side; then emerging from the grass as a line of teeth - just seen above to the right Paving stone with the word Ambiguity engraved made to be read form both sides. Symmetry drawn from the word Ambiguity Lilac coloured RHododendron. Lilac coloured Rhodie Paving patterns at the car port. Complexity of the paving under the car port Short black posts at front and taller balck posts beyond. The Time Walk, writes Jencks, "...emphasizes three different experiences: Cyclical Time ...Linear Time
...and Subjective Time."
Metal seat with bluebells as background . A seat in the bluebell illustrates the way that the whole garden now has a greater play of more conventional planting giving context to the abstractions The DNA Garden with Double Nose sculpture in foreground and Double Helix in background. The Double Nose surrounded by the smell of different thymes. And beyond it another Double, that of the Helix Tapering furrows meeting at line giving impression of angled ground. The Symmetry Break plots the history of the universe from an original point through the curve of space-time White posts framed by two black ones. Black and white posts of the Time Walk which was created by the Jencks' daughter Lily White stepped zig-zag cascade covered in shrubs with pond in foreground. The Universe Cascade is one of the largest additions to the garden between 1999 and 2019, it symbolises the history of the universe in a series of steps. Cascade straight on with pond below and house above. "What does the universe look like?" Jencks asks. This cascade offers a sort of answer, with the main idea being "...the "jumping universe" as a cascade of steps..." Undulating brick wall with window. Brick wall with doors
and windows
Section of undulating brick wall. Undulating brick wall with door. Portrack House with meadow in front. Portrack House Charles Jencks standing with three people. Charles Jencks + walking stick View across meadow towards house. View of house across meadow End of Black Hole paving with house beyond. Black Hole - looking like a fish tail Black Hole with the large tree it surrounded. Black Hole in 1999 with large tree... Black Hole now with two conifers. ...and again in 2019 with conifers Black Hole from head end in dappled light of tree. The Black Hole in dappled light given by the tree. The far curve symbolises the 'event horizon' what we see just outside a black hole, everything then disappears through the narrow neck and then becomes elongated 'inside' the hole. He writes "Swallowing, destroying, black, invisible, creating like a mother? Should we re-christen this pregnant void as a monster goddess..." Trailers... The entance to the Crazy House. The next page goes to the realisation of another architect's dream, Đặng Việt Nga's Crazy House in Đà Lạt. Waterfall at Thingvellir. The next page of the Mosaic Section is headed: 'Flux'.
Or go to the contents of the Mosaic Section.
Saturday 17th August 2019 Murphy on duty

Contents for this section - Picture Posting.       Home page for this site - ColinBrydon.net.       Return to the top