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Captain Dee posted a topic in Brethren of the Brick SeasGreetings Eurobricks! It is my pleasure to finally present to you The Majestic Gardens of King's Harbour, Cocovia. This is a collection of formal garden arrangements and was largely inspired by the large gardens at the Palace of Versailles and Chateau Villandry (both in France) and other similar layouts. I've wanted to build a formal garden in LEGO form for quite some time, and the world of BoBS gave me a good opportunity to do this. Due to the large number of photos, I am posting a single overview pic of each build for organizational purposes first, which is followed by the story and the rest of the photos. Enjoy! Her Majesty's personal garden in Belson, Corrington: The Entry Garden: The Garden of Love: The King's Garden: The Parterre Garden: The Monument Fountain: The Gazebos: The Hedge Tunnel: And now for the story... Her Majesty Annetta, Queen of Corrington, walked slowly through her small private garden, just outside her personal chambers. It was a square arrangement, symmetrical front to back, side to side, and along the diagonals. In the center stood an elaborate gold-domed gazebo decorated with various golden elements. In the center of the gazebo stood a tall column topped with a large pink glass heart - installed by her command as the reigning "Queen of Hearts." Surrounding the base were clusters of red and pink and purple and lavender flowers. A simple path of raked gravel lead from the center of each side of the square to each side of the gazebo. Along the paths were rows of red and pink flowers. Each of the four corners of the arrangement contained two round fountains positioned along the diagonals of the square. The fountains nearest the central gazebo were large and ornate, with a central nozzle spraying upward and a collection of smaller frog-shaped nozzles spraying in; while those nearest the outer corners were smaller tiered fountains that bubbled quietly. In each corner stood a tall floral arrangement, which was flanked on both sides by simple hedgerows running toward the central pathways. Large shrubs occupied the remaining space in either side of each corner. The outer boundary of the full arrangement was established by a decorated gold-colored fence. Portion of Her Majesty's personal garden in Belson, Corrington [50x50 / 2500 studs surface area]: The news of the latest colonial developments had recently reached Her Majesty, and an idea had been forming in her mind ever since. She knew well of the plans to develop a naval base in King's Harbour on the island of Cocovia - and she was concerned that this military establishment might dominate the settlement. She naturally thought of the women, of the wives and children, and this was the basis of her growing idea: the settlement should have a large garden, possibly larger than the Royal Gardens in Belson, for the benefit of the local inhabitants. While the men were on duty or at sea, the garden would provide their wives a reprieve from the lonely toil of everyday life, where they might enjoy the beauty of a structured nature and engage one another socially. And whenever the men were off duty, the whole family might visit to bask in the botanical splendor. It would be the cultural gem of the New World. And so Her Majesty arranged to meet with one Sir David Bricksalot, a renowned garden architect who had worked on renovating the Royal Gardens in the past. On the appointed day and time, he arrived with his lovely wife Rita, and along with Her Majesty they ventured into Queen Annetta's garden to discuss the particulars. She explained her basic idea and provided many specifics, and even gave Sir David several sketches she had completed for possible arrangements. Sir David rapidly took notes in his typical efficient manner and offered his own expert input whenever necessary. Some time later, when all parties were satisfied with the discussion and it was understood that he would have significant creative liberty, they departed, and Sir Bricksalot began the task of planning their voyage to Cocovia. [Below is the build that sparked this entire project: the central gazebo. As you can see, it grew substantially from there!] And so it was that a few months later Sir Bricksalot and his wife sailed into King's Harbour on a fleet assembled by Sir Dee, with several hundred willing workers from Dee Enterprises accompanying them. They wasted no time in establishing a suitable location for the gardens. The land was leveled and cleared, trees and shrubs were transplanted, the hedgerows were formed and vast numbers of flowers were planted. Native plants were used as much as possible. Multiple gazebos were constructed and a large number of fountains were installed. Walkways were laid out. Through it all Sir Bricksalot maintained a look of quiet satisfaction. Her Majesty would surely be proud to see her idea turning into reality. After several months of non-stop activity, the project was completed and preparations were made for the Grand Opening. It would be attended by the two men who had first settled the harbor: Military Governor of the island, Jonathan Cooke; and his close friend and naturalist, Don Isaac Montoya [both characters belong to @Bregir ]. Montoya had travelled extensively beyond Cocovia but hade made a return to the island to attend the event. A couple of Admirals and their families who were in port and several other high-ranking officers were also invited to attend. The other attendees of the Grand Opening were invited from among the inhabitants of King's Harbour, and assembled at the towering entryway early in the morning. The general opening would be available to the public later in the day. The Entry Garden [128x80 / 10240 studs surface area] featured a gleaming gold-domed arched tower structure fronted with a row of gold-colored columns supporting a series of arches that grew increasingly taller moving from the outsides in. Along both sides of the main pathway was a series of small fountains with one large fountain in the center of each side. To either side of this was identical hedge and flower arrangements, laid out in squares with elaborate curving flower beds in the centers and sculpted shrubs in the corners. Leading in on each of the outer edges was another series of decorative arched columns, styled to look somewhat like a castle. Immediately behind these was a row of small palm trees which had been transplanted from the nearby jungle. More shrubs occupied the space between columns on the main front, and behind these columns on each side a raised bed was planted with various flowers and a row of towering palm trees which had also been transplanted. Behind all this, the back of each side of the entryway was enclosed with a hedgerow that grew increasingly taller from the outside in, mirroring the arched columns in the front; and each of the sides were closed in with a polished gold-colored fence that was fronted by a row of cylindrical topiary shrubs. Just behind the central tower a pair of spiral stone columns, each topped with a pair of red flags, stood along either side of the main pathway. Altogether it was a magnificent sight deserving of the name that Her Majesty had chosen. Left to right: Sir Dee, Don Isaac Montoya, Military Governor Jonathan Cooke After taking in the splendor of the entry garden, the assembled crowd moved along to the first of the interior garden arrangements: The Garden of Love [112x112 / 12544 studs surface area]. This symmetric square garden featured a large central geometric hedge and clusters of flowers, with decorated double pathways leading in from the center of each side to form a giant cross. Between the double paths were two hedgerows with a row of neatly-trimmed round shrubs between them. Each of the four corners contained three heart-shaped raised beds planted in grass, which had given the overall arrangement its name; plus a cross-shaped collection of flowers pointing toward the center. The outside boundary of each corner was formed by short hedgerows and the point of each corner featured a cluster of topiary shrubs in a white-edged raised bed. Her Majesty had drawn the basic arrangement, and Sir Bricksalot had liked it well enough to construct it with only minor changes. An Admiral, his wife, and four daughters: What's a Garden of Love without an occasional kiss... The next arrangement was named the King's Garden [80x80 / 6400 studs surface area], after Her Majesty's late father, King Arlin. It was another symmetrical square garden featuring a large central fountain, double-path entries divided by hedgerows, and elaborate flower beds in each of the four corners. The hedges were carefully trimmed to gently slope inward from their high point on the outer edges, directing the viewers' eyes toward the central fountain and surrounding flowers. The white-edged corner flower beds were curved cross shapes with geometric hedges in the centers which were surrounded by rows of flowers on the inside and various shrubs and flowering plants on the outside. The Admiral and his family again: The Parterre Garden [80x80 / 6400 studs surface area] was next. It was another symmetric square with a central fountain and double-path walkways divided by hedges, but the defining characteristic was the parterres: symmetric raised beds with walkways in between. Rows of vibrant red flowers were planted around the hedges, and the central fountain was surrounded by a geometric hedge and several neatly-trimmed shrubs. The raised beds of the parterres consisted of octagons, circles, semi-circles and quarter circles, each housing flowers or shrubs or some kind of flowering plants. Instead of the usual grass base, the four corners of the arrangement consisted of a raked gravel surface to accommodate foot traffic, and the main entry paths were planted in grass with the walkways installed over the top to provide a visual contrast. The Admiral and his family again, lower left; Montoya, Cooke, and Dee, upper right: The architect, Sir David Bricksalot, and his wife Rita: The centerpiece by itself: A corner, closed in all the way around (unlike the full scene, which is enclosed only on the outside edges): The next arrangement was the Monument Fountain [88x88 / 7744 studs surface area]. Once again, it was a symmetric square, but it was quite unique among the various arrangements. Tall hedges lined with flowering plants formed the outer boundary, and high arches formed into the center of these hedges marked each of the four entry points into the garden. Low hedgerows angled in from the corners toward the center and also lined each side, parallel to the sides of the square, between the diagonals. Tall palm trees marked each of the four corners and various flowering plants were positioned throughout. A series of small raised flower beds were aligned with the arched entries. Rather than the typical paths leading straight to the center, a loop path ran all the way around the perimeter, just inside the tall outer hedges; and accessing the center was accomplished by following the diagonal hedgerows inward. A large decorated square pool circled the base of the gilded fountain, which rose to a significant height to form the massive pedestal for the monument. The monument was a towering golden spire rising into the sky from the center of the fountain, built in honor of the mythical City of Gold that had been fruitlessly sought after for centuries by bold explorers. The spire was easily visible throughout the Majestic Gardens complex. The distinguished guests enter left: ...and right: Sir Dee, center; Sir Bricksalot and his wife, on the right: Ever the gentleman, Cooke stoops to smell the flowers, while Sir Dee and Montoya chat. The Admiral, his wife, and daughters somehow managed to get into yet another photo... One of Sir Bricksalot's associates, Sir Bradley and his wife stand inside the entry. The men out front tending the flowers are two of the resident gardeners: Left to right: Sir Dee, Military Governor Jonathan Cooke, and Don Isaac Montoya The Gazebos [112x112 / 12544 studs surface area] was the next garden arrangement, and continued the grand architectural theme from the Entry Garden. This magnificent collection of gold-domed structures was one of the most visually striking in the Majestic Gardens. The basic layout was a symmetric square with divided double-path entries, and featured the most elaborate overall design of all the garden arrangements. A gleaming gold-colored fence enclosed the entire square, save only the entryways, and inside the fence large hedgerows gently sloped inward from their high points in the corners. The elongated oval-shaped strips of grass dividing the paths featured alternating clusters of flowering plants and tiered fountains, and the outer edges of the paths were lined with red flowers and neatly-trimmed round shrubs. Each of the four corners of the layout featured a central gazebo with a gold-domed top and various other decorative elements, all of which were based on the central gazebo in Her Majesty's personal garden in Belson, Corrington. Flowers and shrubs surrounded the base of each gazebo, and rows of flowering plants marked the inner perimeter of each corner, just inside the outer hedges. Each of the square corner arrangements featured small tiered fountains on raised beds in the three outer corners, and a large flowering shrub mounted on a gleaming pedestal in the innermost corner, near the center of the full garden. In the center of the full garden was an enormous gazebo with a three-tier gold roof. The lower and outermost level consisted of four half-dome structures atop decorated arches and columns, aligned with the diagonals of the square base and the four smaller corner gazebos, and enclosed on the outside by decorated gold fencing. Immediately inside this was four more half-dome structures atop towering arches which were aligned with the entry paths to allow easy access to the gazebo. The square-base top tier was perched directly atop the second level but turned to align with the lowest level, and featured a full dome with a short spire on the top. The upper portion of the structure contained a sizeable bell that would be rung on special occasions, and the ground level featured a large tiered fountain that flowed quietly. This gazebo was a fitting centerpiece of the grand arrangement. The center plate with large gazebo as a standalone piece: Sir David Bricksalot and his wife Rita admire his handiwork: The Admiral, his wife, and daughters yet again: Cooke and Montoya: Eventually the Gardens would be a favorite meeting place for the King's Harbour chapter of the Queen's Club Ladies Society, as evidenced by this crowd of well-dressed women: Her Majesty makes a cameo appearance: The last of the garden arrangements completed for the Grand Opening was the Hedge Tunnel [50x50 / 2500 studs surface area]. It was the smallest of the various garden layouts but would eventually prove to be very popular with visitors. It was a simple arrangement, but beautiful nonetheless: a large tunnel formed from growing hedges was aligned diagonally on a square base, with a dome-topped gazebo sitting in the middle of the tunnel. A row of shrubs and flowers lined each side of the tunnel, and the ends were flanked by a pair of curved raised flower beds. The four corners featured small fountains ringed with flowers and decorative red glass; the two larger fountains were aligned with the tunnel and were visible end-to-end. The corners opposite the tunnel featured a cluster of palm trees, perfect for shading the benches beneath them, as well as a decorated curved bed of neatly trimmed shrubs. [Overview pics rotate counterclockwise] And that concludes the tour! Thanks for watching! For your convenience here is the King's Harbour Settlement Topic. Notes: Total build area is 60,872 studs. (Technically speaking "only" 58,372 studs counts as a colonial new-world build, since the first 2500 are in Corrington.) This will be collectively licensed by Corrington members as a Royal Art & Culture property (with leadership approval). I never really planned to build all this. I completed the first gazebo, intending to build a medium or large property, and it just started growing. And growing! The use of the gold round tiles for the walkways was done out of necessity rather than preference. I don't have anywhere near enough of them in light bluish grey which would've been my first choice. But the gold color grew on me, and does look somewhat "Majestic," especially over a tan base. I prefer more realistic development of a settlement (in this case, Bregir's King's Harbour) but I knew I had to complete this while I was still interested. I like all the builds, but the Hedge Tunnel is probably my favorite, followed by either the King's Garden or the Gazebos. The Garden of Love, and specifically the heart-shaped elements, was inspired by the beautiful gardens of the same name at Chateau Villandry in France. My favorite size among these builds is 80x80. It's easy to do using standard 32-stud-wide baseplates and standard 16-stud-wide plates. It's big enough to allow room for considerable detail elements without being huge and unwieldy. In comparison, the two 112x112 builds were a pain to move around for photographic purposes (but they looked great in person!) The characters of Sir David Bricksalot and his wife Rita are based on one of my uncles and aunts. Like me, he is a farmer - and he also operates a large landscaping business that has completed innumerable projects in the region. Sir Bradley is based on one of Dave's longest-serving employees and fellow pranksters... There are exactly 250 ladies in printed dresses in the Gazebos scenes. Some of them aren't visible due to the 5 gazebos blocking them, but they're there. I have about 15 more... somewhere. I really like those well-dressed historic ladies, just in case it isn't obvious. Posting this from my phone was a big pain in the wazoo... No copy-pasting image codes... Unfortunately I have no other option... I appreciate your input. I hope you enjoyed the show. I enjoyed building it!