I have been a botany-geek my entire life. Plants excite a passion. I want know everything about them. And my career choice has given me the opportunity to study growing conditions, peculiarities, nativity, flowers, and other characteristics of thousands of plants.
Learning everything is gloriously impossible Thirty years’ practice, though, has widened my view as my passion for plants and design morphed into a passion for advocacy. In 2007, knowing I was going in that direction, a blog provided a suitable platform. In 2008 my blog morphed into this lovely weekly column.
Since then column topics have been wide (and many posted here; just use the 'search' feature), but the central idea is not: design is a thought process, commanded by logic and botany, that will yield predictable, repeatable results.
It is not opinion. Hundreds of columns have defended this thesis, many discussing the obvious corollary that there are a limited number of correct plants for a given spot.
“Correct?,” you wonder. Yes. Given sun, moisture, soil conditions, and the like, some plant material will be right, some wrong. Plant material must be selected on horticultural principles.
And now, a story.
An Incensed DP
A Mediterra community asked for a Proposal in 2009. As always, I noted the inappropriate level of improvements, about finding the appropriate places for color, for winter interest, and that the level of maintenance was poor. The community chose a different Landscape Architect. Fine. There is plenty of work to go around.
Now it’s 2013. The Landscape Committee called again. After a few meetings an agreement was executed.
Image: Mediterra Master Plan (art work by MSA Design, commisioned by Mediterra)
What happened three years ago? Hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent. Someone had no clue about design or plant material.
What? You think that’s sour grapes? Really? Sour grapes?