Why does the Arnold Arboretum display so well?

How to best display an extensive collection of large plants arose as a challenge in the 1870s when Charles S. Sargent was named director of Harvard University’s new Arnold Arboretum. Sargent’s mandate was to grow “all the trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants, either indigenous or exotic which can be raised in the open air” at […]

Type: On exercise routes, exertion is foremost

Paths, which were once simply means for enjoying fresh air, outdoor socializing and reaching destinations, have been more recently since work and travel have become less physically demanding called upon increasingly to provide opportunities for physical exertion. Walking at any speed provides fundamental, wide ranging beneficial exercise. As the American physician Alvah H. Doty recommended […]

Rousham offers a strollers’ paradise English-style

The Rousham landscape as completed in 1741 and still today offers the ingredients solo and social strollers seek in a naturalistic setting: easy access, broad, clear walkways, a sense of safety, a world apart, apparent extent, and opportunities for exploration. The primary walk is readily accessible. It starts and ends at the house, which is […]

Statues, seats & structures drive Rousham walk

If meadows, forests, and hills form attractive compositions for strolling, why introduce manmade objects and risk disrupting the natural harmony? The Rousham estate in Oxfordshire can again provide memorable answers. Dotted along its main path through woods and along the river are statues, seats, and little structures. These artificial insertions don’t disrupt the natural scenery. […]

Wholly pleasing venues? A tricky business!

To provide the harmonious settings strollers seek requires broad, yet site-specific cultural understanding, attention to details, and—dare we say it in these oh-so-post-Miss-Manners days—good taste. A rose garden may offer a broad, flat strolling path yet remain empty because thorny branches flop across the path. Strollers shun not only abandoned buildings and litter-strewn lots, but […]