The Gardens Trust Online Talk: Gardens of Delight – Gardens Beneath Which Rivers Flow: the Persian garden then and now with Katie Campbell

Date: Tuesday 22 February 2022

Tuesday 22nd February 2022 from 10am until 11.30am GMT.  Gardens Beneath Which Rivers Flow: the Persian garden then and now

The Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, written more than four thousand years ago, describes the dwelling place of the gods as an ‘immortal garden’, in which ‘a tree stands (beside) a sacred fountain’. Here, in one of the oldest surviving human texts, we have the essence of the Persian garden: water and shade. Early on the Persians developed a system of underground channels to transport water from mountain aquifers into the arid plain. Walls, to protect from desert winds, created a sanctuary, while the characteristic four-part division was established by bisecting irrigation channels. As subsequent rulers recognized that the ability to make things grow conferred on them a god-like status, they embellished their gardens with sensuous fruit, beautiful flowers, exotic trees and elegant palace-pavilions. From Cyrus the Great’s legendary Pasargadae through Shah Abbas’ modest mountain refuge Bagh e Fin to the miraculous oasis of Shiraz, we will explore the legacy of Persian gardens in modern-day Iran, and beyond in the works of such international designers as Gabriel Guvrekian, Norah Lindsay, Marilyn Abbott and Vladimir Djurovic.

Katie Campbell is a writer and garden historian. She lectures widely, has taught at Birkbeck, Bristol and Buckingham universities; she writes for various publications and leads art and garden tours. Her recently published Cultivating the Renaissance (Routledge, 2022) examines how the Medici’s Tuscan villas reflect the changing ideas of the Renaissance. Earlier books include British Gardens in Time, to accompany the BBC television series; Paradise of Exiles, which explores the Anglo- American garden-makers in late nineteenth century Florence; Policies and Pleasances: A Guide to Scotland’s Gardens, and Icons of Twentieth Century Landscape Design. She is currently working on ‘Virgil and the Bees’, a social history of beekeeping.

For all the details and to book your place, please click here.

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