I listed "Amelanchier" three times on my "Less Than Hot" list last week and I was asked the question, "Why?"
The answer to me is simple but difficult to explain. I will tell it like this:
"To me, while Amelanchier has its interests - smooth silver bark, colorful June fruit set, showy (but weak) spring flowers, and brilliant autumn color - not to mention it is disease and pest free and survives anywhere - the Amelanchier is most often a signal alerting a certain form of power in a landscape."
The Amelanchier is a landscape tree but rarely found in the garden. We will find it planted as street trees; groves planted in Delaware Park; They are most certainly used somewhere in the Canalside development; Contemporary municipal park development will surely include them in their plant list; PUSH certainly has used them in the landscape they have assembled in our neighborhood; every "Cornell Recommends" list surely has Amelanchier prominently placed. I even remember seeing Amelanchier used at Plantasia in several displays this spring.
But Ferncroft has never called me and said, "Matt. I need Amelanchier branches to finish this piece." I have not seen Madderlake make any mention of the tree. Emily Thompson, perhaps most known for her floral work at MoMA, I don't believe to have ever utilized any of the four seasons of interest the spectular Amelanchier has to offer. Saipua, contemporary artist/florist/farmer of Brooklyn, in all I have watched her front over the past few years, never have I seen Amelanchier emerge.
Most often, gardens that I and my friends may fantasize about creating, have plants such as Dahlia, Quince, Mockorange, etc...plants known to be "delicate" not "sturdy." Amelanchier is part of a world that produces landscapes with four seasons - my gardening companions imagine gardens that have "moments."
Without making definitions, the world is cut up and evidenced in aesthetic imaginations and affectations: Amelanchier is beautiful in one world, but it is the world that will do everything in its power to ensure I have none.
So. Amelanchier has its interests. But it is not part of a beautiful landscape.
Last night I found myself at a reunion of sorts being asked to represent exactly what it was that "I was doing now." I found it very complicated to represent the qualities of my life - to say "I do landscaping" didn't quite cover it. "I'm a trucker," while it went over well, is far from accurate. "I write poems" was not the best way to tell my story. I ended up just throwing my hands up in the air because to make a representation would've melted my (and, I suspect, other's) brain. What follows is part of that representation. Somehow. Somehow. Somehow, whatever it is that I do put me in the position to be working with (the vanguard of floristry) Ferncroft, in this off the map space, behind a camera. Like...Its a life. Its really amazing. I just super appreciated it today.
(Then our second wedding was at the Connecticut Street Armory! Another set of images...)
I'll stay brief, but this work is so complicated to me. Believe me, I delete 200 images to get 40 usable ones. In this space, people are moving all the time, the light is different in every part of the room, and trying to recognize what is important to focus on all in a second of time before the moment has moved on... I'm learning. Even writing this I am recognizing mistakes I made...
I'm including some images of Liz and Erin that on the one hand are less than technically "..." They have a bit of blur or movement to them...this is "error" on my part not intention - but yet, I still feel they are good representations of the process, speed, and movement of the installation.
Landscape designer and Proprietor of Buffalo Horticulture