Of Rectangles and Centuries. A History of the Use of a Garden Pattern from Romanesque Europe to Nineteenth-Century New Orleans
Date of Award
Settlers of New Orleans brought with them ideas of gardens that influenced the way they shaped gardens in the colony. Although the influence of those ideas has been acknowledged in studies of New Orleans gardens, specific connections between the ideas and gardens in New Orleans have not been made. To illuminate some of those connections, this study focuses on one garden pattern — a composition of long, rectangular planting beds -- that is common to at least fifty gardens in New Orleans and to European gardens dating from the ninth century. A developmental history that chronicles the use of the garden pattern from ninth-century Europe to nineteenth-century New Orleans is constructed and used to show that the group of New Orleans gardens which contain the pattern can be identified as a distinct garden tradition. In the past New Orleans gardens containing long, rectangular beds have been grouped with other gardens containing geometric garden patterns and have been described with such terms as formal, French formal, or parterre. This study shows that the use of long, rectangular beds predates the development of formal and parterre gardens and suggests that through the more careful use of such terms it is possible to identify other traditions of gardens in New Orleans that also have connections to European ideas of gardens.
Lewis, David Dwayne, "Of Rectangles and Centuries. A History of the Use of a Garden Pattern from Romanesque Europe to Nineteenth-Century New Orleans" (1997). LSU Historical Dissertations and Theses. 8317.