Monday, April 9, 2012

Rocky stopped by today to visit in the collection...that was nice

and kind of appropriate because I'd already been thinking about how many people had worked in the Asian Collection, the sum of whose individual contributions combined to make the area what it is. We had a project today and two of the three gardeners assigned (plus Rocky) had previously worked in the collection. I like our projects; we really don't have to tell anyone what to do or how to do it because they've already been there.

Every day I try to arrive at the Arboretum 15 minutes early so I can drive through the Asian Collections. Every day I'm proud of the gardens and not just for the relatively minor part I've played in shaping them.

I suppose in some sense all publicly gardened areas, including public gardens, are the product of all their gardeners, designers, patrons, volunteers, contributing plant collectors....but I think it may be more true of the Asian Collections than most. I'm thinking there are at least 50 people who have made material contributions to the shaping of the garden. Some people have designed large parts of the collections; Barry Yinger and Lawrence Lee. Many others have done minor redesigns of smaller spaces.Still others have created small vignettes here and there throughout the space. Even more have made "adjustments". Adjustments can mean moving a plant from a place where it doesn't work to a site where it can sparkle. Or it can mean living with a space so long that one day an epiphany happens and you know the perfect plant for a particular spot. Or dividing a single plant over and over to create a spectacular drift, actually it's the realization that the drift would be spectacular and the subsequent creation of it. Bradley Evans and Stefan Lura acquired, over their relatively short tenures, an array of beautiful and or, curious and uncommon plants. We've been propagating those plants and using them ever since. Both also did useful relocations of number of plants. Most of the gardeners and some of the curators can show you plants they planted in the Asian Collections.

You might think that all of these different tastes would have resulted in a garden without a direction, a miscellaneous collection. That hasn't happened for some reason. Mistakes have been made, most corrected, but for the most part we have all bough into the existing design and worked from there.

1 comment:

Rocky said...

Chris: the pleasure was mine! Sorry you weren't feeling better and that I didn't make it over to the Asian collection until the afternoon. Things look wonderful!