Give Now

The Modernist Movement In Garden Design

What is known as the Modernist movement in garden design evolved during the 20th century. It is well described by Jane Brown in her book The Modern Garden.

Modernist garden design

Photo: star5112 (flickr)

Asymmetry and geometrical lines and shapes play a big part in modernist garden design.

Twentieth-century designers were impatient with historical themes and formulas and looked instead to the world surrounding the garden site to find inspiration. For example, they focused on the relationship between the house, the owner and the landscape, and also regarded function as having a major role in dictating what a garden should look like.

They also believed that modern materials, such as cement and plastic, should not be rejected but incorporated into the designs. For instance in Holland, the influential designer Wilhelmina Jacoba Ruys (1904-1998), who was noted for ecologic elegance, grouped a series of small gardens around an open lawn in her father’s nursery – each one illustrating a different aspect of design. In one marshy area she used recycled, non-slip black plastic to create stepping-stones. The surface and color of the stones created a fresh modernist look to a naturalistic arrangement of bog plants.

The Modern Garden
Jane Brown
Buy from Amazon »
album cover

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

View all posts by this author »

Stay Connected

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Focus on Flowers:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Focus on Flowers

About The Host

Search Focus on Flowers

Focus on Flowers on Flickr