As a community we are trying to reduce contact to slow the Covid-19 pandemic spread. Part of the plan of action we are all living through is the reduction of the workforce down to what The State calls "essential services." The essentials of landscape maintenance have been difficult for many to agree upon and in the process of this dialogue I hope to have the time to share some quick notes and articulations.
To contextualize "the essentials" of landscape,
We first need to understand the landscape as an ingrained infrastructure of the city and developed space.
I think most see and believe the soft green spaces of our towns and cities as "nature" -
Even many landscapers think of this as bringing a little nature to the city -
Which we are, as a poetic metaphor,
But it isn't nature.
Nature is wild.
Nature is "Wildness"
And in the city the work of the "landscaper" (and associated professions) is to
"Control" with planned outcomes (by human design).
We know this when we start to think of our own gardens and landscape.
If we don't attend to our lawns, they become meadows.
If we don't tend to our gardens they are over taken back by native and invasive plant species.
But when we step back and look at our town or city
All of these lawns and gardens
Hell Strips and street trees
Parklands and "nature preserves"
All these little bits and pieces add up to be the dominant medium composing the material matrix of the city.
And so in limiting our works to the essentials only
What practices need to be done to maintain the city's infrastructure?
From the landscape point of view
I don't think we can really weigh in to say what is or isn't "essential."
What is our responsibility is to help render the values associated with the landscape
So everyone together can have an informed dialogue about what is most essential to us.
Again, I hope I can find the time in all of this to consider "the essentials."
Landscape designer and Proprietor of Buffalo Horticulture