There’s a city centre garden in the North West corner of the USA that is, I would suggest, totally unique. Whilst there are plenty of gardens worldwide that feature contemporary art installations – gardening and art are natural partners after all – this combined garden and sculpture gallery in its space age setting is something really rather special.
Chihuly Garden and Glass at the Seattle Space Center combines the work of world-renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly with creative modern architecture and innovative garden landscaping. The overall effect is truly spectacular. You can read about the background to the exhibition, the dedicated building and how the designers arrived at their choice of planting in this Seattle Times 2012 web article here.
My October visit was rewarded with a showing of late-season grasses in full flow, and timed for dusk so as to experience the best combination of daylight and artificial lighting on the colourful sculptures and carefully crafted planting schemes.
There’s only one word to describe the garden, and that’s ‘breathtaking’! I hope my photographs will do it justice…
Personally, I often find that modern sculpture can look awkward and out of place in a garden, but not on this occasion – the Chihuly Garden is one of the most bewitching contemporary gardens I have experienced. The exquisite beauty of the glass creations sits perfectly with the garden design and planting, with colour, shape, light and texture weaving a magical web of intrigue and discovery.
Without doubt, Chihuly Garden and Glass is a fitting (and extremely popular) addition to this modern, thriving US city.