the ideal of paradise

foliage sigridThis blog post doesn’t know where it’s going. The events of this week have made we wonder whether those of us consumed with plants, gardens and landscape have other work to do.  This post began a couple of weeks,when I attended the Landscape Architecture Foundation Conference : The Future of Landscape Architecture.  Riding down to Philadelphia on the Bolt Bus, I felt confident about what conference would be about.  I was wrong.  The conference was divided into two factions.  Those who wanted to talk about the future of landscape architecture in traditional terms and those who wanted to speak about landscape architecture in a political context.

Perhaps,  I’ve just woken up. After a week of killings, spending day after day thinking about aesthetics seems like a way of insulating myself from what’s been happening in the world.  I feel shattered by the events of this week.

allium sigrid

My question for people who read this blog is this:  Is there a place for those of us in the horticulture world to express ourselves in the political arena.  I don’t mean by taking sides in the presidential race.  No.  By joining people like, Martha Schwartz, who advocate for us to band together in a kind of …..without borders.


Martha Schwartz, The Bagel Garden 1979

“…I decided, well, the bagel is a perfect material because it’s democratic, it’s cheap, anybody can do it, does well in the shade, it’s biodegradable.  I made a very good case for why it was a good landscape material and it freaked out the profession totally.  People think of me as the bagel lady.” Martha Schwartz


As anyone who reads this blog knows, I spend a lot of time on Randall’s Island making and maintaining gardens of all kinds.  Sometimes, it feels like there is a little time for anything  else.

rock sigrid

“The most wonderful fun has been working with individuals and their gardens. addressing their needs, realizing their delights. It is a joyous, though detailed exploration, like painting a portrait of the owner’s imagined life, for a garden is almost everyone’s ideal of ‘Paradise'”. – Harriet Pattison


It might be time to take to that idea of paradise and bring it forward… lean in…and get involved.


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