4/20/2019 0 Comments
There is this divide
Between cleaner, horticulturist, and designer
That always needs to be navigated.
I always say
"The greatest problem we face
Is the word 'Landscaper.'
Fifty years ago, it worked.
It was primarily a construction term.
Then in the 70s and 80s
There was a massive economic shift
To a service economy, and
Into a weekly lawn mowing service.
You come to me
To care for your landscape -
Is the field,
The profession -
But you imagine our work
In weekly intervals;
You imagine our work
As if we are
the manicurists and cleaners.
We clean and manicure
As just a part of the work of caring,
But our production isn't organized
Around the interval of lawn mowing.
Our cycles are seasonal
Tied to the snow's thaw
The blooming of spring bulbs
And the dropping of flowers
from the shrubbery.
The soil drys in the summer
And we can work it
Build new beds
And set solid foundations.
As the summer nights cool in early August
We can sow turfgrass.
Soon the leaves start to turn
And we transplant,
And as the leaves fall
We clean them up and plant the bulbs for the spring.
We celebrate the holidays
And begin again as the snow thaws.
But the word landscaper
Has been completely subsumed
By weekly intervals
And I can't for the life of me
Figure out how to communicate that
Without sounding elitist
I'm trying to give consult and care
But there is a line that cuts you every seventh day
And you can't feel it;
But it makes me cry.
Spring Clean Ups.
Every job is complicated.
Yours has specific pruning details,
some rabbit feeding on Spiraea needs tending, and
The Boxwood are poorly shaped
- and I think they should be attended to.
There is some Japanese Knotweed
in the back corner of the yard
- You don't know what that is
but it should be tended to
immediately. Its an invasive. Its no small matter.
Every yard and landscape has its own set
of specific complications
And the value of our work
is FIRST based in consultation
and the dialog
that informs back and forth
collaboratively in the care.
Maybe you just want the security of knowing everything is cared for
and wish to minimize your work.
I can't finish this articulation.
It won't come out.
But, I put together a proposal for a spring clean up and offered to review it.
I was met with a
"Do you think its that complicated?"
Yes, I do.
I was asked
"Do we need a new lawn"?
During our consult
they turned to each other to whisper.
Apparently someone made the recommendation
they would need a new lawn.
"Well. The lawn you have right now
is doing what it is supposed to do -
Defining the space thought of as lawn.
So. You don't need a new lawn."
"If your lawn does not look the way you want it to,
that is another question.
Then you should say to me
'How can our lawn look THIS way."
I can help you get what you want and need.
But it should never be the work of the designer
to make judgements against you,
especially ones that make anxieties
that can only be relieved
by paying your landscaper.
The Buffalo Horticulture identity for the most part organizes around the concept of design build. But I see it as (A) "We always need the work" and (B) we are here to help in whatever capacity we are asked. Above is a architects drawing for a stair and retaining wall structure surrounding a basement height patio in a backyard. I feel my strengths on a collaborative team are that I can understand the organization and visual language of an architects design program and can offer feedback as we put the project together on little bits and pieces of detail, the number of ways I have experience building such things, and of course the production complications with certain ways of building - or, I may help find easier, less costly, or more valuable ways to produce. Most importantly, I think, is I can communicate.
...I saw a wood fence
on another designer's 'gram feed
and wished to comment
that it was "well executed."
But. To speak of an idea
a color choice
- as it relates to "the design"-
we don't say "executed."
I searched around
and found "articulated" to be the right word choice.
The black painted fence was a nice articulation.
From Matthew Dore, the "I" voice of Buffalo Horticulture and "The Buff Hort Project."