Popinjay’s GULCHIN collection is inspired by South Asian flora and fauna, and in particular, by the quintessential idea of the “Persian Gardens”, which are the visual principle underlying the floor plan of Western Civilization.
Nothing evokes that tropical feeling quite like the Gulchin flower, also known as plumeria or frangipani. Their lovely scent and beauty makes them universally loved. In South Asia, the gulchin is a symbol of immortality due to its ability to produce leaves and flowers even after it has been lifted out of the soil.
The Persian paradise garden is the visual principle underlying the floor plan of Western civilization, and its spread can be traced to monuments as far apart in time as the Sumerian Ziggurat of Ur (2250 BC), the Persepolis of Persia, the Taj Mahal, the Mosque at Cordoba, Spain and the street grid of Los Angeles.
The original idea of the “Persian Gardens” was formed in the city of Pasargardae which was the imperial capital of Cyrus the Great, in present-day Iran. These were in essence a project which further refined the Babylonian concept of the garden.
The Persian garden has exerted a profound legacy outside the borders of Iran, and especially in Europe. The Greeks adopted it after Alexander’s conquests of Persia. The Persian term Paradise entered the Roman lexicon which facilitated its transmission to other European languages. The Greeks, Romans and succeeding European civilizations were to build parks and gardens on the Persian model. The breathtaking gardens of Versailles France, the baroque gardens of Belvedere Palace of Austria or the Butchard Gardens of Victoria Canada may never have existed today had it not been for Cyrus’ gardens at Pasargardae. The most notable example of the influence of Persian Gardens in the Indian subcontinenet can be found in India’s Taj Mahal.