The Garden of Cosmic Speculation in Dumfries, Scotland

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By Alex

the garden of cosmic speculation

The Garden of Cosmic Speculation, located in South West Scotland, came to life in 1989, thanks to the inspiration and work of Charles Jencks, one of the most interesting landscape architects of our times.

Instead of exotic flowers and plants, Jencks created a mesmerizing landscape that includes aluminium flower beds, fountains with unusual shapes and other elements that create strange patterns, such as black holes, fractals and a number of optical illusions.
This garden is truly unique in its kind and by strolling through it the visitor is lead to believe he’s living a nearly “extraterrestrial” experience, where the creators of such place must come from another corner of the Universe.But as we said, there is a very real human creator, or rather two of them, Charles Jencks and his wife, Maggie Keswick Jencks.

Back in 1988, Maggie inherited from her mother the estate where the garden is located, a quite large 16 hectares property. At the time, it was not different from any other property in the area, with its vegetables, berries and a greenhouse with a collection of begonias.

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But Maggie suggested to make of this estate a place like no other in the world.

Charles and Maggie essentially decided to show not only the beauty of the Universe, but also its birth, the laws that drive its evolution and some of its most puzzling paradoxes. This was the beginning of a long journey.

Each object of the garden of cosmic speculation is an attempt to understand the laws according to which the Universe develops.

Trying to grasp the essence of the Universe, the visitor will contemplate familiar shapes, such as the DNA double helix, as well as more enigmatic patterns.

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This garden is privately owned by Charles Jencks, but every year for one day, it opens its doors to all comers through Scotland’s Gardens Scheme.

The garden is no mere intellectual speculation as it brings real benefits: all the money collected goes to a charity fund named after Maggie, who died of cancer in 1995.

The fund provides assistance to cancer patients: this way the purpose of this garden does not stop with the contemplation of its beauty by the owners and the occasional visitors but extends beyond its boundaries to help people in a very practical way.

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