Art and Nature

Expressing Ideas through Landscape

Garden Landscapes

How can gardeners create art by designing landscapes? How does a garden transform a space?

Landscapes Created with Gardens

Gardeners can manipulate landscapes to create art. Gardeners interact with landscapes by using multiple senses (including sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste) to gather information so they can make purposeful decisions about how to create a garden within the space. At The Huntington, we have over 120 acres of land that have been transformed into 16 themed gardens. Each of these themed gardens has developed over several years (some have been in development for over a century) and is the result of artistry, labor, and collaboration.

Explore some of the gardens at The Huntington to consider how different gardeners have shaped garden landscapes. What may have influenced these gardeners? How does human labor contribute to the shaping of gardens? How does artistry factor into the design and maintenance of gardens?


Bring It Together

Once you have explored the gardens above, consider the following activities:

  • Write a script for a play or a movie set in one of the gardens. How does the landscape factor into your work? For inspiration, explore how The Huntington’s garden landscapes have been used as filming locations in the past.

  • Draft a creative writing piece set in one of the gardens. How can you translate the visuals of the garden into a written story or poem?

  • Write a letter to the gardeners of one of the gardens.

    • Tell them what you think they did well when creating the garden.

    • Tell them what you think they could do to improve the garden.

    • Ask them questions. What do you wonder about their artistic process? What do you wonder about the garden?

  • Design your own garden. Consider both the aesthetics of your garden and the labor involved in caring for the garden.