Sylvia Crowe, English Landscape Designer and Planner

April 22, 2012

Mount Vernon Square, Baltimore, MD, Courtesy CarlisleFlowers

Mount Vernon Square, Baltimore, MD, Courtesy CarlisleFlowers

Dame Sylvia Crowe, an English landscape designer was President of the Landscape Institute in the late 1950’s.  She was a land planner in England as Frederick Law Olmsted was in the United States.

Her book, “Garden Design” is one to keep in arm’s reach.   Dame Crowe writes about garden history, principles of design, materials of design and, addresses specialized gardens. There are also chapters on wild gardens, rock gardens, factory gardens and school gardens.  Below is an excerpt from Dame Crowe’s chapter on “Principles of Design:”

“Space Division”

“The fundamental pattern of landscapes and gardens results from the distribution and proportion between open space and solid mass.  The solids divide the land into space enclosures giving a pattern of closed and open, of in and out, of dark and light.”

Dame Crowe was influenced by the English landscape designer Madeline Apgar.  One of Crowe’s accomplishments was the design of a roof garden in Edinburgh, the Scottish Widows Head Office overlooking Holyrood Park using Scottish plant material.


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