Picturesque movement reigns precedent
John Claudius Loudon coined the term 'Gardenesque' in 1832 in accordance with his principle of recognition, asserting that the garden should be recognised as a work of art.
Contrasting the Picturesque movement, which championed the beauty of natural landscapes, the Gardenesque movement sought to highlight the beauty of exotic plants, which were transforming the landscape of English gardening. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries plant hunters risked their lives to transport exotic plants to the West. Loudon believe the Picturesque garden hindered a deserving appreciation of these botanic curiosities.
The Gardenesque garden was well-considered and respectful to the beauty of each plant. All trees and shrubs were positioned and managed in such a way that the character of each plant could be displayed to its full potential. A more relaxed and adventurous form of gardening became popular, defined by its accessibility to all gardeners, who could showcase large varieties of interesting plants, regardless of their location or plot size.
Whilst the Gardenesque movement prevailed, botanical art was also enjoying its most illustrious era, with scientific drawings used to record the appearance of plants, flowers, seeds and leaves. Even since the development of photography, the art form has remained popular and continues to captivate botanists and the general public in the present day.
The fascination in plants and their detailed identity has transcended centuries, and is ever present in modern life. With increasing numbers of botanical enthusiast and gardeners residing in urban locations, the importance of showcasing natural forms within confined or limited spaces has never been more crucial.
It is these circumstances, combined with inspiration from Loudon and botanical artists, that have driven and continue to inspire Gardenesque.