Location:  Dumfries, Scotland

Type: Private Garden

Status: Complete Winter 2011

Role: Landscape Architect




A linear path shoots through a mature Lime and Chestnut alley, bounded by a cycling landform that weaves between the majestic trees. Black trunk posts mark the passing of every 10 steps as the visitor walks a rhythm. Slices into the ground provide a small step up. Wet Wellington boots hit concrete steps. Subjective time is emphasised with the rhythm of stepping and the use of a forced perspective and mirror tricks, reflecting the moments of experience or the summation of the path. Wet Wellington boots hit soft moss.

In contrast, the living trees opposite the black trunks change with the seasons. Entropy and cyclical change confront each other. The repetitions of the steps and slingshot landforms around the trees show the cycling of time: the rhythm of the seasons passing, or the cycles of water, nutrients and energy through our natural systems. Wet Wellington boots hit Polytrichum commune, water drips into soil, moss drinks.

When viewed from the entrance the black trunks used to define the rhythm are solid masses. As you turn around to review the route walked, each stump is split and refracted with mirrors so that the trunks disappear. Wet Wellingtons. 

The head of the arrow of time is in a clearing formed from black and white stumps. Finally a view of the sky. The black stumps decrease in height and increase in girth leading away from the eye, creating a forced perspective that pulls the visitor to the end of the line. As the black stumps decrease in height the top of them is visible. Mirrored acrylic caps the trucks, and reflects the sky onto the dark woodland floor. As the trunks age and deteriorate, these pools of light in mirrored form are a memory of their initial shape, until they too become instruments of entropy. 

In a garden you cannot but experience time layered time and time again. The Time Walk emphasises 3 different experiences of time:

Cyclical Time (seasonal change), Linear Time (the arrow of entropy) and Subjective Time (our personal experience of time).


Dumfries, Scotland


Private Garden


Landscape Architect

Lily Jencks






Designed by:

JencksSquared Team: Lily Jencks


December 2020 Lily Jencks on Super Jury at World Architecture Festival. November 2020 Lily Jencks Judging Panel RIBA Silver Medal. October 2020 Talk with Lily Jencks @MSCTY_SPACE part of London Festival of Architecture "Unseen Architecture"- 19 March 2020 Talk with Lily Jencks @ Clemenger Auditorium, Melbourne for "Transformative landscapes: Designing the healthy city" - October 2019 Ruins Studio wins the ABB Leaf Award in the category "Best New Start-Up Practice Project" -June 2019 LJS Quintessentially English: What does it mean to be Native, listed as 1 of 10 unmissable events and exhibitions @ London Festival of Architecture 2019 - 22 June 2019 Talk with Lily Jencks at Cabot Square for 'Quintessential English Garden' as part of the LFA - February 2019 Lily Jencks Studio winner @ SURFACE DESIGN AWARD in the category"Housing Interior Surface" with the project Powis Cloud