Certain pleasures, ambiguous grounds: The etymology and evolution of the pleasure garden

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Pleasure garden and pleasure ground are two terms with ambiguous meanings in the landscape historian's vocabulary. While they are used to describe spatial patterns designed for human usage from the seventeenth century to the present, their specific characteristics are not constant, resulting over time in at least three different, even contradictory, definitions. Multiple uses lead to confusion in which the terms and the spaces they represent are largely irrelevant as open space models in discussions of designed landscapes. Seeking a way through which the etymology of these terms might be better understood, the author first examines references and their evolutionary uses from the seventeenth century to the present. Then the different ways that recent landscape historians have used the terms as a means through which present-day designers and landscape historians might become better acquainted with this typology's evolution - are explored. © 2013 Copyright European Council of Landscape Architecture Schools.

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Journal of Landscape Architecture

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