“LANDSCAPING” vs “GARDENING”
Most of us have a “yard.” During the downtime of winter, don’t be afraid to dream “garden.”
Those who know me may attest to fact that I have opinions and sometimes I make the mistake of verbalizing these a bit too quickly. My former students knew exactly how to derail a lecture. “Just get Garry talking about the sorry state of today’s schools’ grounds.” More often than not, I took the bait and railed on about the fact that architecturally, the only thing that differentiates a prison from a school is one has a taller fence. Minimal windows, minimal planting, and minimal creativity are the hallmarks of both.
Now that we’re in the grips of the non-gardening season (I hesitate to mention the word “winter” since there is a good chance it can be 70 degrees in any month of the year in Tennessee), I feel compelled to share an opinion. There IS a difference between those who do landscaping and those who create gardens.
One of my favorite design terms is “scale.” When we think about landscape at a residential scale, it’s somewhat of a misused term. Landscape implies grand, large, all encompassing. With most residential properties being ¼ acre or less, we should change our perspective and replace the word “landscaping” with “garden creation.” Of course, I’ve had my share of potential clients whose mantra is “low maintenance.” Being an old guy now with fewer inhibitions, I will proudly share that when I hear this term, I want to spin and quickly walk away. I understand that there are many who’ve earned the right to never exert themselves in any way or they just plain hate any yard work. That’s fine. But these folks will never have a “garden.”
Alright. Now that I’m comfortably perched upon my soapbox, allow me to get a few other things off my chest. (Just kidding. I’ll save those for another day). My point of all this rambling is simple. When it comes to your largest investment, your home and property, strive to be creative and take chances. Even if it means picking up an occasional rake or broom. Don’t choose to “landscape” but rather “garden.” Most every city or community in America has its own garden club. When was the last time you heard of an event sponsored by the landscape club?
I could go on but as Teddy Roosevelt once said about those trying to make a point: “Be sincere, be brief, be seated.”