I'm trying to write my last paper for my History of Landscape Design class that I am taking at the New York Botanical Garden, and I just came across an intriguing story about an 11th century landscape design featuring the currently fashionable "garden room".
The 11th century Japanese Tale of Genji tells how Prince Genji constructed gardens for his ladies -- one for each season. Lady Murasaki had a spring garden, the summer garden was for the "Lady from the Village of Falling Flowers," the autumn garden for Lady Akikonomu, and the winter garden of pines and chrysanthemums for Lady Akashi. (Source: The Poetics of Gardens by the esteemed architects Charles W. Moore, William J. Mitchell and William Turnbull, Jr.)
Almost every "new" idea we have today had its origin in another time in our garden history past. I love the idea of having a garden for each season.
Of course, I completely veered from what I should be reading about right now...Gertrude Jekyll's garden design theory and how I can apply it to a house of my choosing that has a design that is out of sync with its architecture. Ok, I have to get focused!