As I started exploring the garden with circles on my mind, I started to see them everywhere, even overlapping!
And I wondered about their symbolism and their connotations. Circles connote wholeness and perfection. They relate to cycles and eternity.
When you are in a dense woods, surrounded by trees, and you come to a clearing -- a rough open circle -- there is an immediate rush of relief. You will probably feel a need to stop and stay a while. Entering a clearing is like entering a room.
Circles are often a chosen shape for garden spaces. And Circles, like clearings in the woods, at least in movies and books, are a place for magic. They provide protection. They provide a setting for ceremonies, like a gazebo for a wedding. And, like the wedding band, they represent eternity.
|Rose Garden Gazebo|
|The Gazebo is in a Circular Raised Planting area|
Spanish Fountain and Rotunda
Fountains and pools are often circular, a sort of perfection of a natural pool or pond.
The Spanish Fountain at Descanso is a wonderful round "room" that can hold a large group of people comfortably. One can sit anywhere around the perimeter, and the fountain is always the focal point.
I can picture a fabulous party in this space, with couples dancing around the fountain!
|Detail of Central Fountain and Perimeter|
Circles are very attractive in the landscape. Maybe we are drawn to the simplicity and perfection of the circle. Maybe we enjoy seeing the whole of something all at once. In life, one often loses track of the beginning and the end of things, but in a circle, the beginning and end are joined together in one!
|The "Open Gazebo"|
These large rounded metal trellises make up an open gazebo. They are quite imposing, especially when covered with grapes and hops. And they surround a small round pond.
|The fourth side of the "Open Gazebo"|
The open gazebo is a strange place to spend time. The circle is implied, and I kind of like the concept, but somehow I'm not very comfortable here. The four giant trellises are like monoliths that are clearly separate. There is no comforting sense of enclosure. The pond in the center is so small compared to the trellises. I think the scale is off for me, but it's still a very interesting open circle. I am reminded of Stonehenge!
|Open Gazebo from a distance|