The traditional garden design has become an increasingly popular motif among gardeners and architects alike, with the number of gardens built each year growing by at least two-thirds, according to the latest figures from the Garden Survey.
However, despite the popularity of the garden skull, it’s still a work in progress.
While some gardeners have created their own creations with their own unique designs, the most popular ones seem to be rooted in a ‘traditional’ design, said Mark Broughton, a landscape architect and curator at the London Garden Museum.
“I have a lot of work in my own garden which is just trying to keep the same look but have a little bit more of a modern edge,” he told New Scientist.
“It’s not a ‘garden skull’ at all.
It’s more of an ornamental or something that’s kind of a homage to nature.”
The most common garden skull designs include a ‘tree skull’, which involves a tree in a decorative shape, or a ‘water skull’, with a waterfall, a pool and a stream as the focal points.
Other garden skull ideas include a head of broccoli and a bowl filled with fruit and vegetables, while a head made of flowers or water can be found in a landscape with a lake or a waterfall.
Some gardeners, however, are trying to bring back the classic, more traditional design with a modern twist.
For the New York City-based architect John McDonough, a garden skull was created with the help of an American sculptor who had been working on a sculpture called the ‘Garden Skull of the Landscape’.
In an interview with the BBC in the early 1990s, McDonought said he wanted to create a “true-life garden skull”.
“It was all inspired by the fact that the American sculptors who were sculpting it [the Garden Skull of America] had worked with an American landscape architect named Joseph Rifkin,” he said.
“So they came up with the idea that it should be a skull that’s a landscape-based landscape, and the idea was that it would be a modern, contemporary-looking head.”
They went into the woodworking process and they got this old wood, which is made of a lot more of the same kind of wood that’s used for the head of a horse, so it was really a reworking of the head.
It was just a different shape and a different angle.
“That was my approach.”‘
It is a very different kind of design’One of the more popular garden skull concepts has to do with the ‘tree head’, which is a round, tree-like head.
“There’s a lot that goes into that, and it’s really a very very different sort of design,” said McDonogh.
“You have a tree skull in the garden and it has a lot to do [with] the shape of the tree itself, so they’re trying to have a different sort [of] design.”
While McDonow’s garden skull design has made it into some of the most expensive garden structures around the world, it isn’t the only one to come with an unusual shape.
The Australian artist Mark Jansen also has a head shaped like a tree, with its branches and roots protruding out of a transparent plastic shell.
“The thing is that the way it works is that when the glass is removed from the tree, it becomes a transparent piece of plastic, and so when you take that plastic, it creates the shape you’re looking for,” he explained to New Scientist .
“It has a sort of organic shape to it, and you can put a flower or plant inside that shape and then it’ll give you a very unique shape.”‘
Not just a skull’The garden skull is just one of the many designs that have been created in recent years to create ‘gardening’ with a new kind of focus on nature.
The UK’s National Garden Museum, which opened its doors to the public in 2015, is one of many museums to introduce a new approach to the way that gardens are created and maintained.
“We want to make sure that gardens get the attention they deserve,” said Kirsten Lydon, a Garden and Natural Environment lecturer and director of the museum.
“When we have a museum, we’re interested in having as much of an impact as possible and the best way to do that is to create gardens.”
“When I think of garden design, I think it’s a really important topic.
It has this incredible power to change people’s perceptions of what a garden can do.”
The Garden Survey has compiled a list of over 1,200 garden skulls in order to help gardeners understand what makes them unique and why they’re so popular.
“Gardening is a way of being in nature, so for the most part we’re talking about being in a very controlled environment and so we’re thinking