Mathematical Digest


Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Gardening by numbers," by John D. Barrow. Nature, 22 January 2004.

Architect Charles Jencks has created a 12-hectare Garden of Cosmic Speculationin Scotland. The garden is not yet open to the public, but Barrow (Departmentof Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Cambridge University) walks thereader through the profusely-illustrated book of the same name (published byFrances Lincoln, 2003). Jencks's home features logistic mapping of panels,non-periodic Penrose tiling on carpets, asymmetrical room designs, spirals andmore. Outside, the garden is displayed in crescents and strips of water that"can be seen to trace the characteristic patterns of the phase space oftrajectories in the famous Henon strange attractor." Barrow describes wavedesigns in wrought-iron gates, Möbius twists, fractals, and declares thegarden inspriational.

--- Annette Emerson