Influential Designers: Russell Page

Russell Page (1906-85) is considered by many as the foremost landscape architect of his time. His name is nearly forgotten today but for decades he was the man to design your garden if you were very rich and perhaps fashionable too. He was involved in all types of landscape projects from small private gardens to public projects and corporate parks. Russell was unique among designers of his day for the diversity of projects, understanding and use of plant material and his respect for European and Islamic gardens. I have not had the opportunity to visit many of Pages gardens but I can highly recommend the Fricke museum in New York City. In two to three hours you can tour the museum housing the Fricke collection and visit the garden.

A few guiding principles that Page believed:

Paths are all-important. Paths indicate the structure of a garden plan, and the stronger and simpler the lines they follow the better.

Repetition or the massing of one simple element.

Beneath all the charms of a garden will lie a logical and direct framework.

Style and site are interconnected. Style in a garden must reflect the style of the house of which it must be considered as the extension.

Each garden is its own small world. Each is different; each has its own nature.

A few years of neglect and only the skeleton of a garden can be traced.