I know that I probably bandy the word “love” around a bit too much. I have the habit of emailing people like Richard Louv and telling them how much I love them, and I think they might fear I am some sort of obsessed fan. In the future, perhaps I’ll work on finding a more appropriate word to use -- “admire”, perhaps. But for now, with Valentine’s Day on the way, I’m going to just keep dropping the “L” bombs.
With that being said, I just LOVE Thomas Rainer’s blog, Grounded Design. It’s not that he just writes great things about gardening. It is HOW he writes that really has me hooked. There is nothing boring or superficial about this blog. Rainer digs deep into the human aspects of gardening. Here are some excerpts from his recent post “Why We Plant”.
We can survive without gardens, yes, but the question is, can we live without them? What I love about plants, in particular, is their ability to reveal the invisible world. The way a grass moves in the wind, or the way a seedhead glows when backlit by the setting sun. The goal of great planting design is not simply to arrange pretty plants in pretty patterns. When garden design becomes another form of interior decorating, it loses its soul. No, what interests me is creating landscapes that are more alive than we are, but in a completely different way. When we enter into a landscape brimming with life and let that life enter into us, let it move through us, then we get a glimpse of the horizon we were created for.
…..Designers don’t create beauty. To believe otherwise makes us guilty of forgery and blasphemy. But what we can do is create the conditions where people can have an experience of beauty.
…..This is why the goal of planting design is to make people see again, to make them remember. We arrange plants in ways that will enable people to have an experience of the ephemeral. It is not the plants themselves as objects that have power. But it is their patterns—particularly archetypal patterns—and that can become animated as light and life pass through it.
We do not create beauty. But we can create thresholds through which people enter and have an experience of beauty.
It’s a fantastic post from a fantastic blog and I encourage you to read the whole thing. My guess is that you’ll LOVE it as much as I do.