Ramblings of a "New American" Gardener

Landscape architects in the making

November 18, 2015


Not until after the fact–during it, really–did I realize how gratifying it would be to have a bunch of landscape architecture students come for a visit.


Jeff Charlesworth had asked if I’d mind if he brought some students from a class he teaches at Delaware Valley University in nearby Doylestown, Pennsylvania, to visit the garden, to sketch, to talk.


I hope it got them a little bit interested in bridging the gulf so often found between landscape architects and garden makers.


Jeff said they enjoyed the experience.


I think I heard the word “mysterious” used.


I hope so.





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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael B. Gordon November 18, 2015 at 7:15 pm

Me too.


James Golden November 19, 2015 at 8:53 am



Lynda Harris November 19, 2015 at 12:50 am

Lucky students! Your garden is looking wonderful – all those buff and burnt sienna tints against the blue sky. Just stunning!


James Golden November 19, 2015 at 8:57 am

Thanks, Lynda. Good to hear from you. I hope you’re safe and secure.


Kjeld Slot November 20, 2015 at 6:55 am

Mysterios, I think, is a good and natural word to use among many landsapearchitects! At least here in Europe. Most of the profession in this Continent are well considered in asfalt and concrete. And I think your generous garden can bee a wake-up-call to many.
I´d love to se your garden…or might I say your plantings?

greetings from Denmark


James Golden November 20, 2015 at 9:36 pm

I agree, Kjeld. Most of our landscape architects are also well trained in asphalt and concrete, but definitely not plants. I hope they will learn to capture a bit of mystery in their work. It is good to hear from you. – James


Carrie Preston November 23, 2015 at 4:12 pm

Del Val students do learn their plants, though. At least they did when I was there.


James Golden November 23, 2015 at 7:20 pm

I think it’s still true, Carrie.


Les November 22, 2015 at 5:06 pm

I love it when landscape architects step away from their CAD screens and actually get to experience things that grow.


James Golden November 23, 2015 at 7:30 am

I think it’s great that Jeff is exposing his students to things way outside the typical plants LA students learn. I hope it’s a trend.


Anne Wareham November 26, 2015 at 9:19 am

I thought I was the only person disturbed by the gap between landscape architects/garden designers and garden makers. It’s quite baffling – aren’t we concerned about many of the same things?

What has made you aware of it, James?

XXXx Anne


James Golden November 26, 2015 at 9:38 am

Anne, it’s a commonplace among garden makers and garden designers over here, has been for decades. I heard James Corner speak several months ago, and when he discussed the High Line, he never once mentioned the plantings or the name Piet Oudolf. It’s as if some landscape architects exist on a higher plane, work with only abstract concepts, and never want to be made aware of the physical nature of reality, the gravel, soil, clay, plants. However, I do see signs of this changing.


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