Creating harmony, simplicity and peace in the landscape......

"Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help.

Gardening is an instrument of grace. " - May Sarton


Monday, May 24, 2010

Its all Connected...

"Its all Connected" - so says Stuart, a set designer turned landscape designer, he wrote this to me (sent from his iPhone) and I thought I would share the edited version with you ... 

When I saw your blog entry regarding 'black and white' it made me think of the time in landscape design class you asked me about set design...

What makes designing for the theater special is that for about two hours a number of people will congregate for an event in a finite theater space and see designs that ideally reinforce a well conceived text...a visually poetic expression of the text, or opera, musical.... you know, the narrative.

But 'narrative' is inherent in all designs.

It can be in the 'dialogue' between the colors and textures of plantings. Or, it could be the dialogue with a site's history or context... Every space has a story to tell in some way.

When you talked in class about going to a site and 'feeling the space',  it made me think of how Louis Kahn would famously ask his students, "what  does the building WANT to be"?   It's really one and the same.

(Louis Kahn building)

A little while ago I went to visit a friend who has a house in Upper Nyack. She asked me my opinion about some things in her garden. She has an old claw-foot bathtub that she reclaimed as a planter- and lo and behold she had planted the variety of very dark Coleus 'black magic' you had written about in the black and white post.

(Black Magic Coleus)

I told her about your blog and she wanted to look at it. She was going to pass it on to friends in her area who love to garden.  And then in another corner I spotted the Euphorbia 'blackbird'  that you also wrote about!
It all felt connected.

(Euphorbia 'Blackbird')

The endless world of plants can seem daunting, but it helps to re-encounter them as much as possible as they become a language.

Stuart, you are right  - plants are a language. The words they speak go directly to the heart.... and boy, do I wish I had a claw foot tub planter!


  1. Clawfoot bath tub--me too! Another planter I always wanted used to be seen often up home in the Finger Lakes--an old rowboat. Closest I can get is my recent plan to plant the bed of my discarded trusty red wheelbarrow, if we can figure how to get the underpinnings off.


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