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Untitled Garden 1973-1997

Drake, Blaine
Slater, Gary
Physical description:
1 folder+ 13 35 mm. slides
Mixed archival materials
United States of America, Arizona, Maricopa County, Phoenix
"Garden consists of five areas: (1) outer yard, (2) inner yard with lawn and swimming pool, (3) formal parterre with gazebo, topiary and flower beds, (4) informal Japanese Garden with pool, stepping stones, pagoda and shrubs, (5) shade/bonsai with display pedestals and benches for potted plants."
"In 1959, the house was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright associate Blaine Drake, who set it in a grove of mature orange and grapefruit trees."
"Little thought, though, was given to maintenance or to coping with invasions of native weeds so, perhaps, inevitably, their efforts seemed unimpressive in contrast to the natural environment's awesome grandeur. That and a growing awareness that environmental conditions were not necessarily hostile led to experimentation with non-native plants. Chrysanthemum, it was discovered, grew as readily as the maize and cotton cultivated by Arizona's prehistoric peoples. A successful but boring initial scheme for growing chrysanthemums in straight rows was soon abandoned for a modest parterre that reflected plans of European gardens the gardeners admired. Neat geometric beds were disposed with studied formality between and arcaded gazebo backed by towering oleanders and a "wall" of privet with central niche establishing the axis of a composition held together further by paths of decomposed granite."
"A consequence of the original interest in chrysanthemums was the creation of a small Japanese-style garden with the geometrical symmetry of the parterre was replaced with informal, "natural" arrangements of shrubs and plants around a pool with raised stepping stones through plantings of spuria and Dutch iris, substitutes for Japanese iris unable to survive Arizona's climate. Another successful substitution has been the several varieties of creeping thyme that imitate carpets of moss in the garden of Kyoto. The garden is separated from the parterre by a high hedge, but the two are joined, not inappropriately, by a moongate formed by training privet to a circular frame."
Persons associated with the property include: Blaine Drake (architect in 1960); Gary Slater (sculptor in 1975).
Local number:
Data Source:
Archives of American Gardens

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