Sadly Mr. Ryan Gainey passed away on July 29, 2016.
He will be honored at the Atlanta History Center on 8/31/2016 at 6:30 pm.
Click Here for More Details.

 

 


Il Giardino Echo - Southeastern Flower Show 2007

 

 


Of all the aspects of garden history that I am enamored of, perhaps I am most inspired by the gardens of the Italian Renaissance, the time when gardens were at their zenith, inspired by those of the ancients. In 2006 I served as Artistic Director for the Southeastern Flower Show, and our theme was "The Italian Experience". I was emboldened to do something I'd wanted to do for years - design a garden in miniature, and my inspiration was the garden at the Villa Gamberaia which overlooks the city state of Florence.

I produced a garden 8 feet wide and 24 feet long on the scale of one inch equals a foot. I shopped for stone and garden ornaments, for plant material that was not miniature but a reduced size of its true self. Grapevines, olives, roses, Italian cypress, pines - planted in miniature pots, surrounded by miniature urns, with an arbor and a clipped hedge encompassing a water feature, a reflecting pool with a pavilion that overlooked the garden.

Mythology is a part of all my gardens, a constant inspiration in my garden design work. Mythology is often emancipated in gardens through the use by sculptures, carved to represent the deities. In this garden we told the story of Echo, a young nymph who fell in love with the beautiful youth, Narcissus, and I commissioned sculptures for the garden to be in the same perfect scale.

As a designer, what a pleasure it is to work on a small scale and bring a garden to fruition in a state of perfection in every detail. Many designers can't work in small spaces. They can't deal with having limitations. But such freedom there is in doing it right on a small scale. In perfect scale. To go shopping and searching in miniature. To work completely with your own hands, getting up at 2 o'clock in the morning to liberate another idea.