July 16, 2011 at 1:30 pm #161554Leslie B WagleParticipant
William on the painting references, I was trying to make a linguistic point more than saying fine arts are in the thoughts of LA’s specifically as they work. On the other question, “When one visits a public garden one might say “I am going to #### garden.” Does one say if entering a LA area “I am going to #### landscape”?”……
I wouldn’t let public gardens being called gardens dilute what most of the posters have said about the definition of landscape and garden. The grande (sometimes donated or formerly royal) gardens are larger in scale but still usually dedicated to a display of plants for enjoyment, so the term garden is still appropriate.
I don’t know of a time a general user would refer to the professional who created a space when referring to it (LA or non LA). They don’t generally say they are going to play at a Tom Fazio or Tom Jackson golf course, they say such and such market identity (Forest Woods, whatever) course. LA’s work behind the scenes on all kinds of projects from theme parks to church columbaria, and the place names rule. Even after a big competition win like the lady who designed the Washington Vietnam memorial, she’s only in the news awhile, then evaporates except among folks who follow such things either to learn from them directly or possibly for becoming informed pubic decision makers.
So, yes those of us who track LA works and history might be likely to say among ourselves “I’m going to go see some L. Halprin’s remaining fountains when I’m out visiting my brother” like we might say “I’m going to be sure and drive by a list of Frank Lloyd Wright houses on my visit to Chicago.” But I’d bet a lot of the people living right around those things don’t recognize them for what they are.
I could easily imagine myself saying I’m going to be in a great piece of landscape architecture but would expect my listener to ask “Yeah, where?” to which I’d then respond something like a named (or lesser known) riverfront, plaza, etc.
Never invite a retiree/part time instructor to take off into the logo sphere, ha.July 16, 2011 at 1:55 pm #161553
Thanks Henry, I would have thought it unimportant if i were LA or otherwise as the Q was quite plain and straight forward! I however thought the ‘fight’ to be reasonable tame all things considered! I enjoyed the banter!July 16, 2011 at 1:58 pm #161552
Leslie, ‘Gardens imply the hand of man somewhat more’ Mmm i would have thought that most LA work alludes more to that ‘hand’ than spaces softened by living matter?July 16, 2011 at 6:42 pm #161551Rick SpalenkaParticipant
This discussion is getting more complicated than it’s worth. Forget about “LAs don’t know plants” because when there are 2,500 different selections of Dianthus to choose from who gives a crap anymore. We can’t clone a Beatrix Farrand, Andrew Downing, Garrett Eckbo, Jens Jensen, or a Frederick Law Olmsted like LA departments are trying to do. Great landscape architects/designer may be like great generals; if born in a different place and time they may have passed into obscurity. How many cadets graduate from West Point who never win battles? Webster’s definition of a garden is irrelavant. Webster may never have designed a garden.
A Garden? Think of “Man (and/or Woman)” and you start to have an answer. Man(kind) is a grassland animal and feels secure in a grassland-like environment. It’s associated with “Biophilia.” Read the studies by Roger Ulrich from Texas A&M and you learn that “man” has an affiliation with “green.” A GREEN surrounding makes our body less stressed. Make a green space regardless of size and if it relaxes you then it’s a GARDEN. Read the Illitrated History of Landscape Design by Boults and Sullivan and you see the common thread is creating an escape from stress, a refuge, an oasis.
Is a landscape architect a garden designer and others aren’t? Funny thing is that most therapeutic gardens that pass the test of being therapeutic were designed by “master gardener” and not professional people. Why? Because professional people often fall into the trap of “creating monuments to the profession” and not focusing on the needs of the user. So 1) a garden is a place to display plants, 2) a garden is a subspace of a landscape, 3) a garden is like a painting – yada yada. Not! If you are in a space that relaxes you, reduces stress, lowers your heart rate, and feels safe and is GREEN – ITS A GARDEN immhoJuly 16, 2011 at 7:28 pm #161550Leslie B WagleParticipant
I don’t think of “landscape” as done necessarily by a landscape architect, but their work is a subset (why I commented on the landscape photos and paintings). Landscapes MAY be altered by an LA or by humanity in general, but the term encompasses the global surface. It overlaps when someone sees a “garden” in nature all the way back to the “Garden of Eden,” but speaking just for myself, given the terms side by side and asked which implies a (human) designer, I would say a garden. When landscape architects work on their projects, it comes out as structured space, but would not necessarily be a garden (hence all my examples of theme parks, golf courses, etc.) Landscape design could even be a new town plan or an example of emerging concepts in sustainable subdivisions that incorporate food farming.July 17, 2011 at 12:47 am #161549
“This discussion is getting more complicated than it’s worth. Forget about “LAs don’t know plants” because when there are 2,500 different selections of Dianthus to choose from who gives a crap anymore.”
Rick i don’t need to read anything to know what garden/landscape is but I do find it rather interesting that at a time when public spaces should be more plant rich (environment) they are becoming the opposite.
I suspect this suits public (and private business) in keeping the ongoing costs of maintenance down..I sometimes think that Municipal bodies would be happy if all green life disappeared from their patch!July 17, 2011 at 12:24 pm #161548Andrew Garulay, RLAParticipant
A garden is a planting composition that may include other elements and often is designed for a specific purpose or purposes.
A landscape is any piece or ground whether naturally and/or artificially covered, or whether it exists naturally, was designed, or just evolved.July 17, 2011 at 3:39 pm #161547Rick SpalenkaParticipant
William, you mis-focused. No where in my post did I endorse the use of less plant material in fact I did the opposite. It’s the accusations when I hear where LA’s don’t know their plant material that irk me. If we had the limited palette of those previous historic landscape architects and designers and their much more limited range where they provided their services than maybe an LA can develop an impressive repritoire of plants. Now days there are so many new species, varieties, selections etc and LA’s are much more mobile it’s almost impossible to be “plant literate.” We learn the basic palette, we learn the requirements, we develop a favorite list and we go to reference books for the others. I’m currently practicing in Western Colorado and when I hear a “master gardener” accuse me of not knowing my plants when we walk by some ugly indiginous “weed” I want to strangle that person who probably never left the county much less the country. I’ve practiced in the Midwest, East Coast and Germany and each has a different palette of plants. I’m tired of the local “rock gardens” that “fit” into our local desert landscapes that are hot and uninviting. Early “gardens” were the oasis from the hostile outside world – Garden : comes from the Slavic work GARD meaning an enclosure or walled area. As I said earlier, a garden is a refuge. We each have our own definition of refuge not of garden.July 18, 2011 at 12:28 am #161546Andrew Garulay, RLAParticipant
“… I do find it rather interesting that at a time when public spaces should be more plant rich (environment) they are becoming the opposite.”
This does not make sense to me. Who has determined that public spaces should be more plant rich? The thing that so many forget or refuse to acknowledge is that it is very seldom when a public space is turned over to an LA, or anyone else who designs public spaces, with carte blanche to proceed as they see fit. There is either a predetermined comprehensive plan (usually derived from a process with public involvement) that needs to be followed or a public involvement process that needs to be followed to derive goals and objectives (if not the details) of such a project. There is either a serious flaw in the development of these goals and objectives (which I certainly would not rule out) or the public actually wants something other than a richer plant environment. It is often that good design repeats and repeats until designers find it uninteresting while users find it very …. useful. Part of the problem might be too much focus on coming up with something new while ignoring the benefits of some things that are tried and true.
Is it possible that the need for recreation is the same as it ever was in a public space? Maybe we have taken away and/or frowned upon the material that allows for the most diverse uses (yes, I mean lawn) and now we have to create specialized spaces for activites? Perhaps coming up with new features and demonstrating creativity through manufactured activities is more satisfying for many LAs than to create subtle greenscapes that offer more for the user, but garner less recognition for the designer? I don’t know, but that ought to stimulate discussion.
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