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11 Famous Quotes that Apply to Landscape Architecture

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. Image credit: Shutterstock.com

Words of wisdom to work by and perhaps live by. Here at LAN we love a good quote. Wise words stand the test of time. In this article we take take a look at some famous quotes that can apply to landscape architecture. 11. “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve”. –Napoleon Hill (1883 – 1970) Just look at some of the most inspiring landscape architectural projects of recent years; The Eden Project, The High Line, or the National September 11 Memorial. Great projects are about not only having a great idea, but believing in them, and having the tenacity to see them through to completion.

"Creative Commons   The iconic bio-domes of the Eden Project, Cornwall, England". Source  Flickr as The Biomes, by Jon licensed under CC 2.0

“Creative Commons The iconic bio-domes of the Eden Project, Cornwall, England”. Source Flickr as The Biomes, by Jon licensed under CC 2.0

10. “Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right.” – Henry Ford (1863-1947) OK, so not every project you’re working on can be the next High Line, but if you constantly tell yourself that you’ll never design the next great piece of landscape architecture, you’re probably right. 9. “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1848) In any profession it is not enough to merely talk the talk, one must walk the walk and practice what one preaches. Alan Titchmarsh once told me that as landscape professionals we are custodians of the landscape, holding it in trust for future generations. If biodiversity matters to you, make sure all your work seeks to increase biodiversity. If inclusive design is your muse, then reflect this in everything you do.
Incredible scenes created at the Floating Garden; credit: Turenscape

Increasing biodiversity at the “Floating Garden”. Credit: Turenscape

8. “A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.” – Frank Lloyd Wright (1868-1959). …and lets face it, they’ll probably specify the wrong ‘vines’. But seriously, landscape architects design in four dimensions, and what we do should be regarded as being here to stay. Revisions are cheaper and easier than redevelopments, so get it right the first time. 7. “The greater damage for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” – Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (Michelangelo) (1475-1564) In everything a landscape architect does they must always aim to achieve the best they can. There is no reason to settle for mediocre design.
Would you make this better if you added to it? Image: Cathedra by Barnett Newman CC BY-SA 3.0 Autopilot

Would you make this better if you added to it?
Image: Cathedra by Barnett Newman CC BY-SA 3.0
Autopilot

6. “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”- Antoine de Saint Exupery (1900-1944) Humphrey Repton one said “Some have asserted, that it is more pleasant to make improvement by the axe than by the spade.” Its often the same with many aspects of design. Remove everything that’s superfluous to improving the design results in a clear and concise design. 5. “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But in practice, there is.” – Yogi Berra (1925-) Theory to practice in any profession is an interesting field. In landscape architecture it can sometimes seem like there is a gulf between the two. Particularly for newly qualified landscape architects. Theory should underpin everything one does in practice, even when it is difficult to reconcile the two. 4. “There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing”. –Aristotle (382-322 BC) Everyone’s a critic. If you are concerned about having your work criticized, perhaps landscape architecture is not the profession for you. Always listen to criticism, but take it for what it is, evaluate it, and take note if it is fair and constructive. 3. “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now”. –Chinese Proverb There’s something about old Chinese proverbs. They always seem to be so true in a very simple way. With modern technology we can now transplant semi-mature and even veteran trees, of course, but this proverb still holds true!
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. Image credit: Shutterstock.com

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. Image credit: Shutterstock.com

2. “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have”. –Maya Angelou (1928-2014) The more you practice the better you get. Never stop sketching ideas, and working them up. You can’t use up creativity! 1. “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality”. -Walt Disney (1901-1966) People more than animate the landscape. They are our ultimate clients. When we design for people we succeed in landscape architecture.
Courtesy of Pioneer Courthouse Square, Inc.

Design for people or why bother? Image courtesy of Pioneer Courthouse Square, Inc.

There are many famous quotes that can apply to landscape architecture. Perhaps this is due to the fact that the best quotes apply generally to life, and as art imitates life, landscape architecture also imitates life. Or perhaps it is because landscape architecture is so pervasive to life that so many quotes can apply to it? Who knows. Why not use the comments box below to share your favorite quotes with us, and how they apply to landscape architecture. Article written by Ashley Penn Return to Homepage

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