Tuesday, February 21, 2012

2012 Speeches

For readers in the Washington, D.C. metro area, there will be several opportunities to hear me speak about topics related to my blog posts.  Here's how the schedule is lining up:

Monday, February 6, 2012

Why We Plant.

Garden design magazines and blogs dedicate a lot of space to answering the questions "how" and "what" to plant.  But in the last few weeks, I've become rather fascinated with the question: why do we design with plants?  In many ways, planting design is one of the most frivolous, silly activities I can think of. That’s not to say it doesn’t matter. But it is certainly not necessary, like paychecks or vaccines or heart surgery. It is a pure extravagance, something we do for our own pleasure.

We can survive without gardens, yes, but the question is, can we live without them? What I love about plants, in particular, is their ability to reveal the invisible world. The way a grass moves in the wind, or the way a seedhead glows when backlit by the setting sun. The goal of great planting design is not simply to arrange pretty plants in pretty patterns. When garden design becomes another form of interior decorating, it loses its soul. No, what interests me is creating landscapes that are more alive than we are, but in a completely different way. When we enter into a landscape brimming with life and let that life enter into us, let it move through us, then we get a glimpse of the horizon we were created for.

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