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Forty major areas, gardens, bridges, landforms, sculpture, terraces, fences and architectural works. Covering thirty acres, The Garden of Cosmic Speculation uses nature to celebrate nature, both intellectually and through the senses, including the sense of humour.

A water cascade of steps recounts the story of the universe; a terrace shows the distortion of space and time caused by a black hole; a “Quark Walk” takes the visitor on a journey to the smallest building blocks of matter and a series of landforms and lakes recall fractal geometry.

The garden is private and open to the public one day a year , normally the Sunday of the first May bank holiday, via the Scotland’s Gardens charity scheme.

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The Garden of Cosmic Speculation is a 30 acre sculpture garden located at Portrack House, near Dumfries in South West Scotland.

The garden is not available for private hire, film shoots, advertising shoots or promotions. The Garden of Cosmic Speculation is private and only accessible on our annual open day.

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Garden of Cosmic Speculation

visit garden of cosmic speculation

The Garden of Cosmic Speculation is a garden designed by Charles Jencks in Dumfriesshire, Scotland. It features 40 major areas: gardens, bridges, landforms, sculptures, terraces, fences and architectural works. Covering 30 acres, the garden uses nature to celebrate nature, both intellectually and through the senses, including the sense of humor. A water cascade of steps recounts the story of the universe, a terrace shows the distortion of space and time caused by a black hole, a "Quark Walk" takes the visitor on a journey to the smallest building blocks of matter, and a series of landforms and lakes recall fractal geometry.

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The Garden of Cosmic Speculation, a wonder of Scotland

Near Dumfries, Scotland, you’ll find a truly spectacular and unusual garden. The 30 acre (12 hectare) sculpture garden is dedicated to modern physics and inspired by the cosmos. The Garden of Cosmic Speculation was created by architecture theorist Charles Jencks for his home, Portrack House in Scotland.

The Universe Cascade, The #Garden of Cosmic Speculation, a wonder of #Scotland near Dumfries

photo by Flexdream / Wikipedia

Beware though that, since it is the garden of his home, this interesting garden can be visited for only five hours, once a year. In 2016 the visits were allowed on Sunday 1 May between 12:00pm – 5:00pm – and the date for 2017 will be announced in autumn 2016 .

The fees are £7.00, concessions £5.00, and children under 16 have free entry. Also, there is free parking here. 40% of the money raised go to Maggie’s Centres, a cancer care charity named for the sculptor’s late wife, Maggie Keswick Jencks.

The garden features numerous special sculptures and “arrangements”, among which the most popular are: DNA Garden of Senses (with helix sculptures), The Universe Cascade, several bridges and smaller gardens („Nonsense”, „The Time garden”, and more), the Black Hole and Symmetry Break terraces.

The Black Hole, The #Garden of Cosmic Speculation, a wonder of #Scotland near Dumfries

photo by  Flexdream / Wikipedia

Words cannot begin to transmit the beauty and majesty of this garden. It’s impressive, interesting and a five hours visit is definitely not enough to understand it all – especially since there are, of course, many people visiting it at the same time, wanting to discover its charm.

This garden was also featured in literature. Louise Penny included it as an inspiration source for a painter in the mystery novel from the Gamache series „The Long Way Home” (that’s where i found out about this garden;). The Garden of Cosmic Speculation was also included by Cameron Jace in „Circus”, part of the „Insanity” series.

Have you visited this garden? Would you like to?

Steel curves, The #Garden of Cosmic Speculation, a wonder of #Scotland near Dumfries

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2 thoughts on “ the garden of cosmic speculation, a wonder of scotland ”.

That’s a magical place! 🙂

Indeed, a special place. And open for such a short time 😉

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Portrack, The Garden of Cosmic Speculation

Directions: Portrack is one-and-a-half miles off the A76, five miles north of Dumfries. 

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The Garden of Cosmic Speculation is a 30 acre sculpture garden located at Portrack House, near Dumfries in South West Scotland. It was created by Charles Jencks, a renowned landscape architect and theorist, and Maggie Keswick, his late wife. They chose their home, Portrack House, to be the location for their dream. The sculpture garden covers 30 acres and has an unusual design, which was inspired by contemporary cosmology, just like much of Charles Jencks’ works.

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Friars Carse Country House Hotel

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Woodland House Hotel

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Attractions near garden of cosmic speculation.

Robert Burns Ellisland Farm

Robert Burns Ellisland Farm

1.19km from garden of cosmic speculation.

This was the family home built by Robert Burns in 1788 for his bride Jean Armour. Set picturesquely on the banks of the River Nith, Burns could not have chosen a more idyllic spot. The complex is a museum in the farm Robert Burns built, lived in and farmed from 1788 until 1791.

Gracefield Arts Centre

Gracefield Arts Centre

7.27km from garden of cosmic speculation.

Gracefield Arts Centre is located in Dumfries. The gallery's main building, a Category B listed building, was bought in 1951 by a committee of local people. The gallery houses a collection of over 600 Scottish paintings and also It holds a varied and dynamic schedule of exhibitions throughout the year featuring work by local, national and international artist and makers and selected exhibitions from our permanent art collection.

Dumfries & Galloway Aviation Museum

Dumfries & Galloway Aviation Museum

7.62km from garden of cosmic speculation.

The Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum is a volunteer-operated aviation museum located in and around the World War II-era watch tower at the former RAF Dumfries, located two miles north east of the centre of Dumfries, Scotland, which was in service from June 1940 until 1957, when it closed. The Museum's main exhibits are not roped off, which allows visitors the freedom of gettting close to the aircrafts which includes - the F-100 Super Sabre, Lockheed T33, De Haviland Vampire T11, The Britis

Dumfries Museum

Dumfries Museum

7.96km from garden of cosmic speculation.

Dumfries Museum tells the story of the land and people of the region. Look out for fossil footprints left by prehistoric animals, the wildlife of the Solway, tools and weapons of our earliest people, stone carvings by Scotland’s first Christians and the everyday things of the Victorian farm, workshop and home. The museum also has the world's oldest working Camera Obscura. Admission is free, however a small fee applies for the Camera Obscura.

Robert Burns House

Robert Burns House

8.03km from garden of cosmic speculation.

Scotland’s national bard spent his last years in this simple sandstone house that is a key pilgrimage site for Burns' enthusiast from around the world. Over the years it has attracted many famous visitors including the poets Wordsworth, Coleridge and Keats. View original manuscripts and some of Burns’ personal belongings. See his desk and chair in the study where he created some of his finest works.

Dock Park

8.24km from Garden of Cosmic Speculation

Dock Park is a great children's play area set within picturesque grounds. A range of other activities are also available whatever your age, including tennis, bowling, putting and trampolining. The park is landscaped, and contains an interesting sunken garden that used to be an old quarry, and was the source of the sandstone for the Mid Steeple. It is also the site of a former castle for Robert the Bruce, and there is a sandstone plaque marking the spot.

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Discover More Attractions in Dumfries and Galloway , Home of Garden of Cosmic Speculation

Dumfries and Galloway

Dumfries and Galloway

90 attractions.

Dumfries and Galloway is one of 32 unitary council areas of Scotland and is located in the western Southern Uplands. It comprises the historic counties of Dumfriesshire, Stewartry of Kirkcudbright and Wigtownshire, the latter two of which are collectively known as Galloway. The administrative centre is the town of Dumfries.

Location of Garden of Cosmic Speculation

For more information about Garden of Cosmic Speculation , visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden_of_Cosmic_Speculation

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The garden of cosmic speculation in scotland.

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This sculpture garden was created by Charles Jencks, a renowned landscape architect and theorist, and Maggie Keswick, his late wife. They chose their home, Portrack House, to be the location for their dream.

visit garden of cosmic speculation

The Black Hole Terrace

Located near Dumfries, South-west Scotland, the sculpture garden covers 30 acres and has an unusual design, which was inspired by contemporary cosmology, just like much of Charles Jencks’ works. The masterpiece, that they created features landscape and sculptures based on the Big Bang, geometric fractals, twisting DNA helixes, and black holes.

visit garden of cosmic speculation

The couple planned the garden carefully. They met with scientists and horticulturists, in order to come up with a design of a landscape, that would blend nature, science, and art. The sculptured garden is a representation of an unconventional approach.

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Fractal Pond

Even though this masterpiece is not home to plant diversity, still its snail-like curves and symmetry are greatly appealing. The garden is comprised of 5 major areas, which are connected by numerous artificial lakes, large white staircases, bridges, and zigzag terraces. All of the different incorporated architectural works are used for representing the universe creation story. Nature is used through the senses and intellectually. The steps of a water cascade are used for recounting the universe story. The presence of a terrace is for the purpose of showing the space and time distortion which is yielded by a black hole. The lakes and landforms series are used for recalling fractal geometry while the Quark Walk takes visitors of this place on an excursion to the smallest matter building blocks.

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Symmetry Break Terrace

This private garden often remains closed for the public, except for only 1 day each year. The garden is open to visitors one day only, through the Gardens program of Scotland. Often visitors are allowed during the first Sunday of May and the number of visitors is limited to around 5,000. The money raised from the one-day admission is given to Maggie’s Centres. This is a cancer care foundation, that was named after the late wife of Jencks.

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This sculpture garden even managed to inspire music by Michael Gandolfi, an American composer, which in 2009 was nominated for Grammy after being produced by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

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Everything About Garden of Cosmic Speculation and Why its a Must Visit

Everyone has best friends; extroverts are ones with people as their best friends whom they chatter endlessly. On the other hand, introverts enjoy their own company where they get enough time with nature, books, music and web series. Some of the things introverts do, they talk and share but not out loud, not for everyone to know. These are the people who are best guides to people they know where they get these inspirations though? What is it that empowers them to explore, guide and influence, it's the power of nature? The true admirers of nature are those who know the magical place we are introducing to you today, the garden of cosmic speculation. What is this place we will tell you soon in detail, but for now the crux is, it's a cosmic garden with outdoor plants not made for the purpose of admiring flowers and plants per se, but knowing the phenomenon of science and maths through the magic of plants. Let's dig in.

Everything About Garden of Cosmic Speculation

  • The cosmic garden was inaugurated or rather built by Charles Jencks and his wife, Maggie Keswick. They did the good deed in 1989 and are located in Scotland. Their idea was to bring science alive, which is the reason for finding horticulture here.
  • This garden opens only once in a year and witnesses a heavy footfall of people who admire nature and keep an interest in science. People who have visited once, pay more visits to sit in the calm and those who visit for the first time don't take long to fall in love.

Garden of Cosmic Speculation Theory

  • The garden of cosmic speculation in London is a combination of inspirational maths and science phenomena explained through figures covered with plants. Even those who steer clear of books, love to indulge in all practicality here.
  • The architecture of the place has been done entirely with steel to give it a firm structure but also to make it long-lasting. You also need to see the type of figures made with the material, and you also have to make sure that a strong material is used.

Cosmic Garden

  • The garden of cosmic speculation clears your facts or introduces you to the phenomenon of the black hole and big bang theory. All the concepts are structured and explained here to bring you to all the information you wish to know. It is inspiring to know.
  • Here you will find the human DNA structure made of steel, tall-height, and well detailed. The detailing and carving are marvelous, and the attention to detail leading to perfection is admirable.

Cosmic Speculation Facts

  • Many human-made lakes are also a part of this cosmic garden to give it a completely natural look and make it a combination of beauty and brain. The water also keeps intact the vibe of the cosy aroma of the place.
  • Everywhere you look, you will succeed in finding an unsolvable phenomenon of science, but you won't succeed in solving one unless you put your brain, heart and time in it without any distraction. What will appear simple, will, in fact, be a mind-boggling puzzle.

Garden of Cosmic Speculation

  • The garden has a special place in people's hearts, and they visit it every time it opens, especially those who live around it. The perfect masterpiece is waiting for you to explore it, go ahead and try your luck.
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Alex has written for Vanity Fair, Barrons, Bloomberg and Condé…

Note, the Garden will be open this Sunday, May 5th, from 12:00pm – 5:00pm. More details .

The Garden of Cosmic Speculation is a private garden created by Charles Jencks. Located at Portrack House near Dumfries in South West Scotland, the garden is inspired by science and mathematics, with sculptures and landscaping on these themes, such as Black Holes and Fractals. The garden is not abundant with plants, but sets mathematical formulae and scientific phenomenae in a setting which elegantly combines natural features and artificial symmetry and curves. It is probably unique among gardens, and contrasts nicely with the historical and philosophical themes. The garden is private but usually opens on one day each year through Scotland’s Gardens Scheme and raises money for Maggie’s Centres, a cancer care charity named for Maggie Keswick Jencks, the late wife of Charles Jencks. The garden is the subject of an orchestral composition by American composer, Michael Gandolfi, which he composed for a joint commission from the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Tanglewood Music Center. The piece was subsequently recorded by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra conducted by Robert Spano, and nominated for “Best Contemporary Classical Composition” at the 2009 Grammy Awards.

http://www.charlesjencks.com Photos by Paulus Maximus

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Alex has written for Vanity Fair, Barrons, Bloomberg and Condé Nast Traveler.

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Garden of Cosmic Speculation

Tuesday, 08 May 2018

It was the annual opening of the Garden of Cosmic Speculation last weekend so it was the perfect place to spend Jill’s birthday. As it’s only open for this one day a year you have to make sure you’re on the ball and grasp the opportunity to see what is arguably the most impressive garden in Scotland. Here are some of our highlights from this year’s visit…

There are gorgeous bridges at every turn in the garden, many are painted blood red and look wonderful as you look across the gardens.

visit garden of cosmic speculation

Universe Cascade

The cascade is like no waterfall you have ever seen before!

The cascade

The DNA Garden

Packed with fabulous sculptures and lovely planting, this relatively small part of the garden alone is worth a visit!

The DNA garden

The detailing

Everywhere you go in the Garden of Cosmic Speculation you will see beautiful detailing. This lovely stone wall with circular inset detailing caught our eye.

Garden details

The Shadows

The plants and sculptures cast amazing shadows all around the garden. This beautiful old tree was creating lovely shadows on the moss underneath.

The shadows

The Black Hole Terrace

We just love the effect Charles Jencks has created using some metal and artificial grass.

The Black Hole Terrace

Spring  Colour

Spring has arrived really late this year but it meant we could enjoy the rhododendrons and magnolias in their full glory in the aptly named Flower Paradise Garden.

Spring colour

Creating Intrigue

We love trying to create intrigue in our gardens when we can and this has been done really well at Cosmic by creating a hole in a hedge where you can peek through and see the next part of the garden. C’mon let’s go explore!

Hole in hedge

Cleverly positioned mirrors catch your eye and reflect the surrounding garden.

Mirrors in garden

Time Garden

After we last visited the Garden of Cosmic Speculation, these painted telegraph poles inspired us to make our own back fence to our garden. Our 3 year old said “amazing” when she walked into the Time Garden.

Painted logs

There were a sea of bluebells cascading through the woods, truly spectacular.

Bluebells

Charles Jencks is famous for his landforms and there are none more impressive than the ones at Cosmic with the large Snake Mound and the cleverly designed Snail Mound.

Landforms

Best sign ever

We love this!

The best sign ever

Our kids get dragged round lots of gardens with us but there was not a single “I’m bored” as we went around Cosmic. They had just as much fun as us!

Children having fun in garden

Birthday fun!

It was glorious weather for our bank holiday visit to the Garden of Cosmic Speculation, perfect for a picnic in the most stunning of surroundings. And even a cake to boot!

Picnic at the Garden of Cosmic Speculation

We highly recommend you watch out for the annual opening of the Garden of Cosmic Speculation, it’s as amazing as the name suggests!

To see some of our other favourite gardens to visit click here. 

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The Garden of Cosmic Speculation

Dumfries, Scotland

Forty major areas, gardens, bridges, landforms, sculptures, terraces, fences and architectural works. Covering thirty acres in the Borders area of Scotland, the garden uses nature to celebrate nature, both intellectually and through the senses, including the sense of humor. A water cascade of steps recounts the story of the universe, a terrace shows the distortion of space and time caused by a black hole, a "Quark Walk" takes the visitor on a journey to the smallest building blocks of matter, and a series of landforms and lakes recall fractal geometry.

Plan of Garden

Garden of Cosmic Speculation - Single

May 20, 2024 3 Songs, 11 minutes ℗ 2024 Xavier Boscher

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COMMENTS

  1. Garden of Cosmic Speculation

    Covering thirty acres, The Garden of Cosmic Speculation uses nature to celebrate nature, both intellectually and through the senses, including the sense of humour. A water cascade of steps recounts the story of the universe; a terrace shows the distortion of space and time caused by a black hole; a "Quark Walk" takes the visitor on a ...

  2. Garden of Cosmic Speculation

    3025. Snail-shaped grass mounds, twisting DNA helix sculptures, and undulating waves of rhododendrons make up the Garden of Cosmic Speculation, a 30-acre garden whose design is guided by the ...

  3. Curious Fact of the Week: Garden of Cosmic Speculation

    Garden of Cosmic Speculation A 30-acre garden inspired by the principles of modern physics. Fractals formed from the earth curve over ponds, the story of the universe is told over a sprawl of steps.

  4. Garden of Cosmic Speculation

    The Garden of Cosmic Speculation is a 30 acre (12 hectare) sculpture garden created by landscape architect and theorist Charles Jencks and his wife, Maggie Keswick Jencks, on Maggie's land and their home together, Portrack House, in Dumfriesshire, Scotland. Like much of Jencks' work, the garden is inspired by modern cosmology .

  5. Garden of Cosmic Speculation in Scotland 2024

    A unique space inspired by science and mathematics. The 12 ha (30 acre) sculpture garden created by landscape architect Charles Jencks at Portrack House, his home located near Dumfries in south-west Scotland has become famous due to its unusual design. Inspired by modern cosmology, Jencks called his masterpiece the Garden of Cosmic Speculation.

  6. Garden of Cosmic Speculation

    The Garden of Cosmic Speculation is a garden designed by Charles Jencks in Dumfriesshire, Scotland. It features 40 major areas: gardens, bridges, landforms, sculptures, terraces, fences and architectural works. Covering 30 acres, the garden uses nature to celebrate nature, both intellectually and through the senses, including the sense of humor.

  7. The Garden of Cosmic Speculation

    The Garden of Cosmic Speculation. Only open to the public each year for half a day on May 3rd, admission to the 30-acre Garden of Cosmic Speculation is as memorable as it is exclusive. Conceived ...

  8. Scotland's hidden wonders: The Garden of Cosmic Speculation

    The Garden of Cosmic Speculation is only open for one day a year, for around five hours, with queues traditionally forming for a glance at Jenck's creation.

  9. The Garden of Cosmic Speculation, a wonder of Scotland

    The 30 acre (12 hectare) sculpture garden is dedicated to modern physics and inspired by the cosmos. The Garden of Cosmic Speculation was created by architecture theorist Charles Jencks for his home, Portrack House in Scotland. The Universe Cascade, The Garden of Cosmic Speculation, a wonder of Scotland near Dumfries. photo by Flexdream / Wikipedia

  10. Portrack, The Garden of Cosmic Speculation

    Covering 30 acres, The Garden of Cosmic Speculation, designed by the late Charles Jencks, uses nature to celebrate nature, both intellectually and through the senses, including the sense of humour. Directions: Portrack is one-and-a-half miles off the A76, five miles north of Dumfries. Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th May.

  11. The Garden of Cosmic Speculation

    We visited during October 2023's open weekend. Despite the rain and the mud, the practical arrangements for parking and walking round the garden worked well, and thanks to all the volunteers who were helping out. I've been wanting to visit this garden for years, and there are certainly many varied sculptures and installations to invite reflection.

  12. The Garden of Cosmic Speculation

    Having travelled to Scotland and being at a festival the previous evening, a visit to this garden was a must on the open day. Always wanted to see Charles Jencks work at his home. There are a few other places in Scotland where it can be seen, but this is the motherlode. ... The Garden of Cosmic Speculation - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go ...

  13. Garden of Cosmic Speculation

    The Garden of Cosmic Speculation is a 30 acre sculpture garden located at Portrack House, near Dumfries in South West Scotland. It was created by Charles Jencks, a renowned landscape architect and theorist, and Maggie Keswick, his late wife. They chose their home, Portrack House, to be the location for their dream. The sculpture garden covers 30 acres and has an unusual design, which was ...

  14. A 30-Acre Garden Inspired by the Principles of Modern Physics

    This unusual garden in Holywood, Scotland, was designed with physics in mind. Its owners and engineers wanted to bridge the worlds of art, nature, and science. Today, the Garden of Cosmic ...

  15. When a garden becomes art: Garden of Cosmic Speculation

    The rounded, peaty hills of Dumfries, located two hours away from Glasgow on Scotland's southern border, form the setting for the Garden of Cosmic Speculatio...

  16. The Garden of Cosmic Speculation in Scotland

    Located near Dumfries, South-west Scotland, the sculpture garden covers 30 acres and has an unusual design, which was inspired by contemporary cosmology, just like much of Charles Jencks' works. The masterpiece, that they created features landscape and sculptures based on the Big Bang, geometric fractals, twisting DNA helixes, and black holes.

  17. BBC Scotland

    In the late 1980s the American landscape architect, along with his late wife Maggie Keswick, created the Garden of Cosmic Speculation on land at their home near Dumfries.

  18. Everything About Garden of Cosmic Speculation and Why its a Must Visit

    The garden of cosmic speculation clears your facts or introduces you to the phenomenon of the black hole and big bang theory. All the concepts are structured and explained here to bring you to all the information you wish to know. It is inspiring to know. Here you will find the human DNA structure made of steel, tall-height, and well detailed.

  19. The Garden of Cosmic Speculation, Scotland

    Note, the Garden will be open this Sunday, May 5th, from 12:00pm - 5:00pm. More details. The Garden of Cosmic Speculation is a private garden created by Charles Jencks. Located at Portrack House near Dumfries in South West Scotland, the garden is inspired by science and mathematics, with sculptures and landscaping on these themes, such…

  20. Garden of Cosmic Speculation

    Tuesday, 08 May 2018. It was the annual opening of the Garden of Cosmic Speculation last weekend so it was the perfect place to spend Jill's birthday. As it's only open for this one day a year you have to make sure you're on the ball and grasp the opportunity to see what is arguably the most impressive garden in Scotland.

  21. Garden of Cosmic Speculation

    About Garden of Cosmic Speculation. Open for one day a year only, the spectacular & genius Garden of Cosmic Speculation, is a must visit in 2022! The garden showcases sculptures and landscapes inspired by natural phenomenons like the Big Bang, twisting DNA helixes, black holes and geometric fractals. The 30 acre garden is inspired by nature and ...

  22. The Garden of Cosmic Speculation

    The Garden of Cosmic Speculation. Dumfries, Scotland. 1989+. Forty major areas, gardens, bridges, landforms, sculptures, terraces, fences and architectural works. Covering thirty acres in the Borders area of Scotland, the garden uses nature to celebrate nature, both intellectually and through the senses, including the sense of humor.

  23. Garden of Cosmic Speculation

    The Black Hole terrace. gardenpics / Alamy. Snail-shaped grass mounds, twisting DNA helix sculptures, and undulating waves of rhododendrons make up the Garden of Cosmic Speculation, a 30-acre ...

  24. Take a Summer Cosmic Road Trip With NASA's Chandra and Webb

    It's time to take a cosmic road trip using light as the highway and visit four stunning destinations across space. The vehicles for this space get-away are NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and James Webb Space Telescope. The first stop on this tour is the closest, Rho Ophiuchi, at a distance of about 390 light-years from Earth.

  25. Garden of Cosmic Speculation

    Listen to Garden of Cosmic Speculation - Single by Xavier Boscher on Apple Music. 2024. 3 Songs. Duration: 11 minutes.