Brief Garden

One of the most beautiful places in Sri Lanka in terms of construction and atmosphere, Brief Garden in the Bentota area is the brainchild of the famed Bevis Bawa. It is actually located about ten kilometers away from the main Bentota town.

Bevis was the brother of architect Geoffrey Bawa, and as an artist in his own right, he created his own little world here. Currently it is a 4.9-acre property that was once a rubber plantation. Bevis acquired it from his mother in 1929 and set about turning it into an artistic paradise. Here he hosted many elite Sri Lankan artists, from Laki Senanayake to Ena de Silva and even international luminaries like Sir Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh and Australian artist Donald Friend.

Bawa had fifteen gardeners to maintain his creation. The Brief Garden includes vegetation-covered ‘house’-like constructs with a door that wouldn’t look out of place in a fantasy film as well as the more normal ponds, flower beds and fern beds. Many of the sculptures are covered with moss and low-growing plants like ferns and vines of various species. However it does nothing to take away their pure beauty and innovativeness. For example the moon gate, a completely circular construction separating an area of grass from a paved path is quite an ingenious work of art. It is draped in a carpet of moss, ferns and epiphytes.

Written by Vasika Udurawane for

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