Caroline Facer, a one time medical scientist and now a garden designer, has used her scientific knowledge to create a fascinating garden showing a variety of mathematical and scientific theories.
Our guided tour (an absolute necessity if you stood any chance of understanding the garden) started around the back of the attractive Jacobean Cotswold stone house whereupon a deluge of rain clearly demonstrated the water spouts used instead of downpipes.
A bespoke gate showed that life is really a game of chance illustrated by a couple of dice, while the ups and downs of the stock market were depicted by a graph line of peaks and troughs although if everything came together perfectly a gold peak at the top of the gate was your crock of gold.
A black, white and red patterned area demonstrated that there are right and left handed molecules of everything (a fact that had completely passed me by!) but which was ably explained by Caroline.
A flight of wooden sleeper steps, covered with a bright red Astroturf stair carpet, gave a dramatic entrance to an alee of pleached limes under planted with catmint.
A winding mown path stretching away from the garden through a field of long grass had white stemmed birch (Betula utilis var. jacquemontii) planted at spacings to demonstrate the Fibonnaci number sequence (1,2,3,5,8,13,21 etc.) with the distances between trees decreasing as they went away from you increasing the sense of perspective. A painted white line on the edge of the mown path increased the effect.
The box hedges in the vegetable garden had succumbed to box disease and had been replaced by a rusty metal edging topped with what appeared to be a random selection of numbers. This too had a meaning and showed the number for pi starting from one corner e.g. 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510 etc, etc
A garden devoted to black holes had a bed of “black” leaved plants. Actaea simplex ‘Brunette’, Ligularia dentata ‘Desdemona’, Sambucus nigra ‘Black Beauty’ and the inevitable black grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’) around a pool of black dyed water while the tip of a stainless steel sculpture vanished into the ground as things are swallowed up by black holes.
The last “garden room” we visited was a simple series of Italianate columns each of which will be topped by a small sculpture depicting the work of Nobel prize winners for medicine.
This was a fascinating garden that combined the science that underlies both life and horticulture in an imaginative way. It came as no surprise to find that Charles Jenks (The Garden of Cosmic Speculation that we visited in Scotland) is a good friend of Caroline Facer.