MOX
Wonderland Garden
Wonderland Garden
Location
Tarhovka, St. Petersburg
Plot size
4 800 m²
Year
2010
01
/
13
  • We were thrilled to tackle a fascinating brief from an extraordinary, energetic and talented client who wanted an unusual fairy-tale garden based on his favourite book, Alice in Wonderland.

    In a nutshell

    The sense of fantasy is inherent in very structure of the garden, the design of every nook and cranny, the plants selected, and the decorative details, shapes, dimensions and proportions. However, a garden is more than just an empty design; it must also be liveable. Despite its fairy-tale character, the garden meets all of our client’s practical needs. Though complex at first glance, we have made sure that the garden is truly comfortable and functional.


    The Garden

    The garden is divided into two substantial sections.

    The first is the grand entrance, consisting of a broad area in front of the house with a classical, regular layout, circular driveway and cocktail patio.

    At times, the perfectly even streams of water flow into a single jet; at other times, they separate. And, as darkness falls, they glow dynamically in different colours. It’s not unlike the trick fountains found in the Peterhof gardens because failing to maintain a ‘respectful’ distance could find you drenched by a playful spurt of cold water.

    The second section is more intimate and fantastical – a magical labyrinth that leads you into Wonderland through a series of garden parlours.

    A rectangular pool divides the two sections with a white stone path stretching across the water to Wonderland’s formal entrance area. Resting on hidden underwater plinths, the stone slabs genuinely appear to be floating on the surface. Guests are always extremely nervous as they take their first tentative step onto the path!

    The garden’s fairy-tale section features an alley of topiary-trimmed ornamental apple trees covered in pink blossom in the spring. Meanwhile, a magnificent ten-metre oak tree provides the shelter for a table where you could enjoy tea with the Mad Hatter and March Hare.

    One of the fantasy parts of the garden gradually narrows through a series of diminishing archways, putting you in Alice’ shoes after she bites into the mushroom that makes her grow like a giant. The low, flattened crowns of the short lime trees, fine brick paving, plants with tiny leaves and flowers, distorting mirrors and mushroom-shaped lamps all transport you to a world of magic and wonder.

    The low, flattened crowns of the short lime trees, fine brick paving, plants with tiny leaves and flowers, distorting mirrors and mushroom-shaped lamps all transport you to a world of magic and wonder.

    No Wonderland would be complete without a card game and in the next parlour, the White Garden, a classical rotunda fits that very purpose.

    Decorated with clipped thuja trees, the Chess Garden has an enormous granite chessboard at its centre with beautiful Staunton chess pieces. This is also borrowed from Lewis Carroll, albeit from Alice Through the Looking Glass, but why let that stop us?

    The gardens in the fairy-tale labyrinth are separated by living partitions of thuja, lime, ornamental apple, ninebark and, in the shadiest corners, spruce trees.

    Our Wonderland creation also features a rose garden – there must be roses! – as well as a herb garden and an actual merry-go-round. There is fun and entertainment aplenty for our hosts’ many guests as well as a quiet, cosy corner for a little bit of solitude.