Immerse Yourself

I lived for over a year in Japan while I was in college.  I didn't have much money ( I was on scholarship) so I could not afford to pay for Japanese language lessons. Now if you have ever been to Japan you know that the people there are 'English challenged' - everyone studies it for years and years and still has a hard time conversing...

So I had to learn Japanese quickly and therefore involved myself in the old fashioned way of language mastery - immersion.

I stayed away from our small college center and lived and worked where Japanese was the only idiom spoken. The funny thing was that since I worked in an architecture office dominated by men I ended up, unknowingly, speaking in the men's dialect!  I must have sounded like a longshoreman when I answered anyone's questions. No wonder they always looked at me a little funny when I spoke...

Why on earth do I bring this up in a blog dedicated to garden design and landscapes? Because mastery of Japanese - no easy task -  is very similar to learning landscape design....

Immersion is the key to learning all the facets of garden making, place making, landscape design or whatever term you want to call manipulating and enhancing outdoor space... as I tell my students, 'Immerse Yourself' in the arena of life that you want to enter.

Too many times I have had people tell me they want to be a landscape designer but approach it in a rather haphazard manner...the direction in their life seems to be skewed or at least indistinct.

Once you decide upon a course in life, the only way to master it is to immerse yourself, yes?  So subscribe to those trade  magazines and then read them! Get every plant catalog that you fancy and then learn the plants described within ....attend classes, talks, as an intern...take a job that you see as beneath you (it isn't!) and learn eveything you can... and then teach what you know to others because there is no better way to master something than to teach it .....

Does this make you a one dimensional person? Not at all! It makes you a deeper more superficial skimming of the subject at hand - you are attempting 'mastery'...

I never forgot what my husband told me about his beloved Karate practice  - he explained that, upon getting his black belt, he was now at 'zero' and would start to learn karate....

Ah so.

Bottom two landscapes by Johnsen Landscapes & Pools


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