Wednesday, November 08, 2006


This evening I'm attending a lecture at the Chicago Botanic Garden entitled Defiant Gardens: Making Gardens in Wartime. Given the polarizing nature of politics in general, and certainly now when things are so uncertain around the world, I can't think of a topic more prescient to the landscape industry today. How lucky are we American designers and gardeners to be members of our world community? We have the divine luxury of seeing all the strife in the world and trying to weave a beautiful web from tangled strands of social consciousness. Gardens are defiant in many ways: the very essence of creating a garden means one is defying (or attempting to defy!) nature and taming the wild landscapes around us...urban or agrestic. But especially now, creating gardens means not giving in to the melancholy that can easily grip us in the midst of so much unrest, so much aggression and deceit, so much unnecessary killing and dying. I can't remember who, but someone once said, "Who plants a garden plants hope." I like very much being in a position of such selfless giving, as one who shares the love of life and the green, living things in it. To find out how you can plant hope, visit