Recently, I found a wonderful blog called The Art of Gardening. In it, Jim Charlier writes about his installation of a paved and planted area in his own yard that was designed in a checkerboard pattern. Here is his backyard project:
Jim was inspired by the floor of the ballroom at the Chateau de Chenonceau during a recent trip to the Loire Valley of France. Here is the photo for his inspiration:
Jim, although very creative, is not the first to design using this classic checkerboard geometry. After reading his post, I immediately recalled my own creation here:
Paved stepping stones such as these laid out in an orderly geometric grid are very popular to navigate one's way through grass:
Photo by Elke Borkowski
Here is a Japanese version. It is the 'Dry Garden' at the Bloedel Garden designed by Dr. Koichi Kawana of the University of California. I love this deconstructivist and more random approach.
Photo by Catscape
This one is a little more green and edgy. It's a paving and grass checkerboard design that is driveable and pervious, allowing runoff from rain events to leach back into the ground as opposed to running off and polluting our waterways. Functional and stylish too!
Where did our interest in this geometric form originate? The origins of geometry are unknown. However, throughout time, man has used it in navigation and astronomy. Over time, man has also used it to subdivide land.
Photo by Ben Heys
Other interesting geometric forms in grass include more from Burle Marx at Flamengo Park in Brasil.
Here is the same design used by Burle Marx in paving in Rio de Janiero.
And on the Copacabana.
The wavy pattern of the grass and paving mimics the shoreline of the tidal water adjacent to these sites.
Here are some more primitive uses of grass. The first one is Mudman, an earth sculpture at The Lost Gardens of Heligan at Cornwall, England.
This is "Earth Woman." She is considered to be "Earth" art.
I don't think I'd like to walk on either one of these grass installations!
Here is a temporary art exhibit that took place in Berlin. It was designed by the firm msk7 for a design competition entitled "Finding Refuge - Huguenots in Berlin." Grass letters were arranged in front of the gendarmenmarkt in a crossword-like arrangement.
And an unsual design using mowed grass in concentric shapes.
The tree is in the "bulls eye" postion. It certainly has a ripple effect, doesn't it?
This may be a more common site. Stepping stones through the grass. They beckon us to move forward.
We can create the desire to move forward through a field just by mowing a path through it.
Today, some of us are obsessed with creating geometric patterns such as these in our own lawns.
To learn how you to, can master this artform go Here or Here.