Through the Years 2000-2015: Page Duke + Antique & Garden Show Nashville

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Celebrating twenty seven years this year, The Antiques and Garden Show of Nashville brings together top interior designers, landscape architects and purveyors of fine furnishings for a three-day event February 3-5, 2017 that showcases the elements – indoors and outdoors – that make a house a home. The charitable event was founded in 1989 by Connie Cigarran and the late Sigourney Cheek.  Since its founding, The Antiques and Garden Show of Nashville has raised over $6 million for Cheekwood.

Page|Duke Landscape Architects has been a proud partner and advisor from the beginning. We look back fondly on some of our Show Gardens over the past 27 years.

2000: “Room With a View”

PDLA’s own Ben Page, Gavin Duke and Heather Walsh (the lead garden designer that year)


Page Duke’s own Heather Walsh – working her magic again. It was always all hands on deck for the 48 hours before the show opens for PDLA.

PDLA was leading the rustic design look way before it was commonplace in Nashville.

2006 “White Garden”

The theme that year was “Colors”. Tom Powers created the “trees” in the PDLA garden.

Team PDLA, circa 2006, would converge on the convention center for 48 hours of  and work hard then head out for a beer together.

 2007 “Kandinsky Garden”

One of our very very favorite gardens ever.  Yes, that is hundreds and hundreds of bags of colored sand that was poured in between the two sheets of plexiglass


2008: Wendell Berry, Matisse and Picasso

Surrounding the garden was a “wall” with quote by Wendell Berry, a favorite Southern poet, naturalist and conservationist.

“The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.”

“The “food people” in progress were amazing because we Xeroxed and cut out hundreds of circles of each vegetable and then placed each one to create the contour shadow lines that make the people have shape and character.”

2009 Hobbit House

Note the large evergreen in the back –nootkatensis weeping cypress – it was cabled to the ceiling of the convention center to hold it up because of its height. 

2011 Elements

PDLA’s own Gavin Duke was the designer for the main entry garden – titled EVERGREEN.

A clever idea to keep the garden in budget and yet to fill in the huge empty ceiling space were the cloud banners. The artwork was a creative collaboration between Gavin and PJ Maxwell at Herndon & Merry.

2013: A tribute to Albert Hadley

This year was exceptionally special to us.  Ben Page had worked on projects with and admired Albert Hadley and developed a close friendship with him. 

The gold gourd was an Albert Hadley trademark.  The gourd was done by artist Dan Dutton.  


All of those sparkly stars are probably in the 1000s of different size washers tied onto clear fishing line that were done for weeks right here in the offices of PDLA during many many many lunches and many hours in the homes of PDLA employees sitting on their couches watching tv.

2015 Tribute to Oscar de la Renta, “Holograms”

The 27th Annual Antiques and Garden Show, benefitting Cheekwood, opens Thursday, February 3 with a Preview Party celebrating Gil Schafer, Honorary Chair. Find out more about tickets and information HERE.

Read  “The Renovation of Boxwood 1915 – 2009” by Honorary Chair, architect Gil Schafer, detailing the restoration of an iconic Charles Platt designed residence along with landscape architect, Page|Duke’s Gavin Duke and decorator David Netto.




The Garden on First Street: Julia Reed’s New Orleans Garden

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Originally published in Southern Living Magazine, 2014

Two Southern tastemakers create the ultimate garden for entertaining at a New Orleans house made famous by its owner, renowned writer and hostess Julia Reed. 

Three days after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, landscape architect Ben Page arrived on the doorstep of author and entertaining expert Julia Reed. At the home (made famous in her book The House on First Street: My New Orleans Story) Ben found downed trees, lost camellias, and amazing examples of survival. Read More

Garden & Gun – Homeplace: Country Retreat

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Ben and Libby Page’s introduction to Giles County, Tennessee, came in the spring of 2004, when Libby’s mother decided it was time to educate the family about its roots and created a “Family History Day.” The Nashville-based clan piled onto a bus and headed south toward Pulaski, where they toured nearby farms and family homesteads, accompanied by a historian. By the end of the day, Libby, an event planner, and Ben, one of the South’s leading landscape architects, had become so smitten with the terrain—leafy rolling hills dotted with picturesque barns and nineteenth-century farmhouses—that they asked the fellow leading the tour to let them know if any property ever became available. Two weeks later, the call came. Two years later, the couple, along with their daughter, Florence, spent their first night at Brookside.

They named the house, a three-bedroom Greek Revival built around 1845, after an Italianate Revival manse a mile away, rebuilt after the Civil War by Libby’s great-grandmother. Libby describes the “new” Brookside as having been generally “buggered up” by various twentieth-century owners, the most glamorous of them a New York couple who held polo tournaments on the property during the fifties and sixties. During the Pages’ two-year renovation, the house was taken down to its studs, with the exception of the living room, the only space that retained the original plaster walls. Builders restored a back staircase, as well as a now-enclosed breezeway that joins the house to the spacious kitchen. A side porch that had been walled in was returned to its original state (albeit with a screen), and a utility area was added with an enormous soapstone sink, the first repository for vegetable and flower cuttings from the gorgeous garden. Below, the cellar was restored and converted to a game room with a custom banquette and an 1880s maple pool table the Pages found in Wiscasset, Maine.

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Our Favorite Pages

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Ben Page began collecting books over 30 years ago about architecture, interior design, landscape architecture and horticulture as well as biographies about the pioneers in these arenas – Olmstead, Jekyll, Birnbaum, Page.  Many were purchased at a small bookstore in New York City that is, sadly, no longer in business.  Ben continues collecting to this day and has amassed a library of well over 1,000 volumes, including several first editions.  A Vanderbilt librarian was secured years ago to log all of the books with the Dewey Decimal system and create a full card catalog.  The collection continues to be a passion of Ben’s and we look forward to sharing more in the months to come about some of the wonderful volumes contained in the Page Duke library.

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The travels of a mature tree

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The luxury of a mature native tree canopy has always appealed to a discerning cross section of clients of PAGE | DUKE landscape architects. Whether working among the tall longleaf pines of South Georgia, the majestic live oaks of the coastal south or the climax oak forests of the upper south, mature native trees have always held connotations of continuity, permanence, and quality. When a client comes to PAGE |DUKE desiring these characteristics, and the site does not naturally have those attributes, we know that there are professionals who can come to the rescue with a solution – tree movers!

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