The Essence of Garden Making

The Olympic Games are on! Watching the Olympics always makes me think of Aaron Copland, the great American composer, who lived in the town next to where I live now ( You can visit The Aaron Copland House and attend some great concerts there. )

I think of Copland because a snippet of his 'Fanfare for the Common Man' is played often during the  television coverage of the games.

Copland sings and plays with his friend, composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein in 1945

CREDIT: “Bernstein with composer, mentor and friend, Aaron Copland at Bernardsville, NJ. 1945,” Music Division, Library of Congress.Digital ID45a029.
Copland came from modest circumstances in Brooklyn and rose to become one of the preemient U.S. composers of the 20th century. When someone asked why he composed music he answered,  
"You compose because you want to somehow summarize, in some permanent form, your most basic feelings about being alive, to set down... some sort of permanent statement about the way it feels to live now, today."
In my mind, garden making is like composing music - we do it to create a 'permanent statement about the way it feels to live now, today'.....
Landscapes are a sort of  homage to our partnership with Nature. Together, we create 'beautiful music' - uplifitng, glorious and inspiring.  You could say a garden is our own personal 'Fanfare for the Common Man'!
So keep on making those gardens and hum a little tune while you're at it.
(bottom two landscapes by Johnsen Landscapes & Pools)


  1. Great metaphors, music and gardening. Great blog, too!

  2. Thanks for that complment..I appreciate it! that name - garden guru...

  3. The comparison between composing and gardening is inspiring!

    I love the blog!


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