Wednesday, August 18, 2010
I'm Sick of These Plants! :: Edhat, August 14, 2010
Landscape designers can get a little full of themselves, me included. We know so many more plants than you do and can recite polysyllabic botanical names like Parthenocissus tricuspidata without coming up for air.
Discovering a cool, new Heuchera with crinkled, copper-colored leaves and chartreuse polka dots is like a crack head's deep toke smacking the brain with a dopamine two-by-four. Then comes the roller coaster ride - cosmic sensations of euphoria and empowerment, then the inevitable crushing crash. The story endlessly repeats as we find ourselves down some sketchy alley, peering over the nursery wall, scouting our next fix.
The trouble is, some of the shiny new plants designers get all throbby about haven't been around long enough to reliably know what happens ten years down the line.
Sometimes it's safer to work with the plants we see every day. There's a reason they're so damn ubiquitous. They're everywhere because they'll grow anywhere, whether you're a Master Gardener or a nursery newbie.
Sure, I would love to design every project as an artistic and botanical adventure, but that's not realistic. For many clients, it is preferable to create a garden filled with common, but thriving plants that require minimal resources, than to create a short-lived masterpiece of exotica that demands constant life-support.
I've got more to say here...