Friday, July 25, 2008

How To See

One of the most frustrating aspects of this garden enterprise is learning how to see. Sounds weird, doesn't it? But I honestly don't have a clue what I'm looking at when I look at a landscape design.

I know how I feel. I know if I like it. I know if it's something I'd like to recreate--or not. But I have no idea why.

It's a question of being literate in this milieu, actually. It has more in common with architecture than interior design--given the added complications of mass and void and scale and proportion. In interiors, we're pretty much given what we have to work with. In gardening, everything is so much larger I find myself gasping inarticulately trying to ask the right questions in order to understand and interpret.

The other problem, of course, is experience--or lack thereof. Not the experience of gardening, or, more properly, horticulture, but the experience of being in a garden. What I look at is pictures on the 'net, pictures in a book--and I react to the pictures--not the gardens.

I hope that will begin to be remedied today and tomorrow. Our local horticultural society is hosting a "garden tour" of ten home owner's gardens. I'm so excited I could spit.

I'm off in a few hours.
Meanwhile: here are some pictures from flickr.

1 comment :

drwende said...

Not weird at all -- you're at a stage where you're responding to the emotional experience of the garden rather than analyzing its structure and grammar.

I actually like being unable to analyze in some areas -- that lets me turn my brain off -- but you're right in thinking its difficult/impossible to create reliably if you don't speak the language.

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