by germinatrix | August 3rd, 2009
I’m in Merida right now, taking some meetings and familiarizing myself with the way things work down here – which is, predictably VERY different than what I’m used to!
I love a challenge – but it is crucial that you have a good team behind you when taking on something that stretches you beyond your comfort zone … and I couldn’t have better support than Jorge Pardo Sculpture ‘s awesome design/production studio. They are SO fierce and passionate about this project – and with that kind of energy behind a thing, no matter what the obstacle, the end result will shine. I know it.
Since I’ve been on the road so much lately, I’ve been thinking how incredible travel is for a garden designer (pro, hobbyist, beginner – whatever your level!). Seeing natural and man-made phenomena that take the right side of your brain for a joyride is EXACTLY what you need sometimes! We can get so focused on our zones, on what is native and appropriate, on the plants we have worked with forever and trust, that we forget about taking risks and trying new things! I understand why – I mean, when somebody is paying you lots of money to make a beautiful garden for them, throwing caution to the wind and experimenting with new plants might be a little foolhardy, sure …
At the same time, nothing disappoints me more than a talented designer who starts to churn out cookie-cutter gardens. Traveling with our eyes wide open is a way to refresh not only our bodies and our spirits, but our sensibilities as well.
One of my favorite blogs is Alice Joyce’s Bay Area Tendrils - she takes you to amazing places via her website, and has such a sensitive eye for inspired spaces. If you can’t actually travel right now, take a few virtual trips with Alice, and then think about how you can adapt some of what you’ve seen for use in your own garden. I was tremendously inspired by her post on the Ira Keller Fountain in Portland, Oregon. Hmmm… I wonder how that structural marvel will influence my future work? Who knows? These things are often work their way into your creative process sideways, or through a back door, rather than head on. Otherwise it would be a knock-off rather than a point of departure … so I like to look, see, experience – and then wait. Percolate. Something will bubble up to the surface right when I need it.