Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Chinoiserie Garden


After my post yesterday on blue fu dogs, I received a fascinating comment by Magnaverde on my reference to the Fu Dog Garden at Robert Allerton Park near Monticello, Illinois. Despite having grown up in Lake Forest, Illinois, I was unaware of this wonder. Robert Allerton was the only son of Samuel Allerton, founder of the First National Bank of Chicago. He was an art collector, philanthropist, and artist. He legally adopted as his son his life partner John Gregg. Their estate in Illinois is now the University of Illinois' Robert Allerton Park. Their home in Kauai, Hawaii is now Allerton Garden. He also donated over 6,600 works of art to the Art Institute of Chicago.

The early gardens of the 1,500 acre Allerton Park had a strong European influence, but as he expanded his travels it took on an Asian flair, from the Avenue of the Chinese Musicians, to the Chinese Maze Garden, to the Fu Dog Garden with 22 porcelain fu dogs. Few of you know that I am an avid gardener, a Master Gardener, and studied landscape design, and I would love to someday visit this garden of Chinoiserie delights. My own garden has a strong Chinoiserie influence-wisteria, Japanese quince, peonies, camellias, blue and white Chinese porcelain and my Chinoiserie shed with its Chinese blue door and dragon door knocker. I hope this tour of Robert Allerton Park may inspire you to plan some Chinoiserie features for your own garden this spring.























16 comments:

home before dark said...

Magnaverde always opens my eyes. Thanks for the garden tour. I'll have to put it on my list. I, too, am a Master Gardener. Although, I dropped out because here where I am, the program was not so willing to consider organic gardening solutions. None the less, gardening is one of the best ways to take care of yourself and the environment and having a little "foo" along the way.

Kathysue said...

Foo dogs are a bit scary to me but this garden is beautiful. Kathysue

Chic Provence, A Way of Life said...

gorgeous gardens!

Theresa Cheek said...

Fabulous find. I was not familiar with this.

Theresa

little augury said...

So glad you posted these- Note to self-Need estate for my foo dogs! this is a gorgeous place.

Averill said...

Gorgeous photos! I've been to Allerton Garden in the Lawai Valley and it's well worth the trip. I think you'd also love to see Queen Liliuokalani gardens in Hilo, HI, which are Japanese gardens and stunningly situated right on Hilo Bay.

Style Redux 2 said...

Home Before Dark-Master Gardeners here is quite keen on organic gardening and approaches. It is a wonderful program, although a big commitment.

Style Redux 2 said...

Kathysue-They are supposed to be a little scary-they are protectors.

Style Redux 2 said...

Kit-Stunning!

Style Redux 2 said...

Theresa-Full of inspiration.

Style Redux 2 said...

Little Augury-A perfect solution.

Style Redux 2 said...

Averill-They sound wonderful.

La Petite Gallery said...

Crazy for Foo Dogs. WOW! some gardens and What's that tall gate
keeping in there?
Nice post

Yvonne , I'm back at your site
lost you.

Style Redux 2 said...

Yvonne-Glad you're back.

Emile de Bruijn said...

You may find it interesting to see images of the chinoiserie garden at Biddulph Grange, in Staffordhire, England: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-vh/w-visits/w-findaplace/w-biddulphgrangegarden/w-biddulph-photo_gallery.htm
This Victorian garden has a number of different areas, one of which is in fantasy-Chinese style.

Style Redux 2 said...

Emile-This is gorgeous. Thank you so much. I will definitely save this for a future post.