An Ottoman Garden - A Photo Gallery of Bakewell Ottoman Garden
The Ottoman Garden that I am showcasing in this hub is not that old, but carries on the very little known, though wonderful gardening traditions of the Ottomans long ago. When I came upon it, it was very new to me but I had no idea that there are literally no surviving examples of an Ottoman garden from long ago. This makes it extra special of course. This kind of garden was developed during the 16th to the 19th century in we we know today, as Turkey. (Photo 1 - Entry)
It has been pointed out, that it just so happens that where this garden is located, also happens to be the same latitude as Istanbul. Istanbul is the Imperial capital of the Ottoman Empire, and is also on a 40 degree latitude, just like St. Louis Missouri. So it shouldn't be too hard for the plants, trees and shrubs to thrive there. In fact, a place for many of the same plants to flourish! (Photos 3,4,7,8,11)
When I visited this Ottoman garden, I was immediately met with peace and calm and much beauty. There is a lush setting, with some very interesting and beautiful decoration, as you will see in these photos. There is the sound of water always, and a bright reflection of the sun against the enclosed area and the light colored interior of the fountain area. (Photos 1,3,5,12)
Surrounding the Ottoman garden is a lot of brick and stone, and of course many plants. The goal of the plants in this type of garden are to give color, fruit and much fragrance. Compared to many other parts of the St. Louis Botanical Garden, this garden is still in its young stages though incredibly beautiful, and sits on just one quarter acre.
You will find many native plants of Turkey here, during what would have been the Imperial Garden during the Ottoman Empire. So there is much Turkish flora here, as well as some that mimic the look of those of Turkey.
One will find everything from hardy fruit trees, to small citrus trees, roses, and all kinds of bulbs and herbs and perennials. One plant that stood out beautifully was the pomegranate.
Architecturally speaking, there are some very interesting parts to this garden. I love the double wooden door gateways to the inside and emergency exits even. Very beautiful! There is aged stucco, and much terracotta and art throughout. I love the windows as well, with their iron grilles. (Photos 1,12)
I love the sundial as well, and have never seen one quite like it. It is a replica of one in Topkapi Palace, which must be very beautiful. Two different times are represented here, the polar gnomon, as well as the vertical gnomon. This is to show Moslem prayer times, Babylonian hours, and also Italian hours, which I found rather interesting. (Photo 2)
Many of the water elements found in the garden are dedicated to being authentic to what the Ottoman Imperial Garden would have had from the cheshme , the juniper allee, and the havuz. Water can be seen coming out from different jets around the rim. It is meant to symbolize, at least in part, the Source of Life. It is meant to show the life giving nature to the River of Paradise. So you can see some of the beliefs of the people of that area, being played out in their gardens, which is a neat thing to see and so beautiful as well. (Photos 5,12)
It is the rear of the garden that gets really interesting. It includes a patio and much art, and a wooden arbor or chardak, is planted with grapes. There is a very beautiful, domed tiled roof, and what seems to be a huge chair or throne as well, below that. There are painted murals on the back as well, very beautiful. The birdhouses are lovely too, as well as the sound of the water spilling off the different tiers in the fountain, also called selsebil. (Photos 6,9,10,11)
This garden was made possible by a generous grant from Mr. Edward Bakewell Jr. What a lovely gift that I have seen so many people enjoy many times over. It is just another addition and represents another culture altogether in the greater garden there. If you are ever in the St. Louis Missouri area, do go and see this beautiful garden. Its very lovely.