Garden Designer’s Roundtable | How Did I Get Here?

You may ask yourself, “Well, how did I get here?”
–Talking Heads, Once in a Lifetime

Indulge me please. I have enough years behind me to be able to view the paths and detours I’ve taken. Some things have been long held and constant, a love of the landscape for one, but more than that, a love of great design in all of its forms has allowed me to crisscross visual boundaries and to work in several disciplines along the way.

When connected, these visual stops on the road–and many more, create a snapshot of my design sensibilities.  It’s not the total story of how I got from here to there…but it’s a big part of it.

It started in the 60s.  Mod London, pop art, the counterculture were at the beginning of my travels.

The logo for Mary Quant...note the floral motif...

Then I discovered Art Noveau and Modernism almost simultaneously.

Paris Metro Station

Paley Park in New York

I could post 1000s of visuals, but as I said, indulge me.  Flash forward through travel to other places, personal journeys and interests in Punk, Postmodernism, Grafitti, Anime, Wabi Sabi, Neo Geo, Adams architecture, fashion (always that) and too many more combined with a deeper interest in those who created the designed outdoor environment at the same time.  I written about many of them here…Halprin, Rose, and Shipman to name a few.

If I look at this partial plan of Versailles, I see elements of all of the above.

Flash forward again.  While I carry those experiences and many others with me there are too many for a simple blog post and this isn’t a memoir or autobiography.  What intrigues me now is rooted in pop culture, history and technology.  My work, I think, reflects those interests with strong lines, nods to tradition and a genuine respect for the land I’ve been working on.  Lately though, this isn’t enough to contain my diverse interests and I’ve taken on a new project.  One that I hope will help people to understand that great design extends past our doorways.  You didn’t think you’d be able to read a post without me having a shameless plug for Leaf in it did you?

For other designers’ interpretation of getting from here to there,Simply click on the links below and enjoy the journey.

Debra Prinzing  &  David Perry:  A Fresh Bouquet

Pam Penick : Digging : Austin, TX

Scott Hokunson : Blue Heron Landscapes : Granby, CT

Rebecca Sweet : Gossip In The Garden : Los Altos, CA

Jenny Peterson : J Peterson Garden Design : Austin TX

Susan Morrison : Blue Planet Garden Blog : East Bay, CA

Jocelyn Chilvers : The Art Garden : Denver, CO

Lesley Hegarty & Robert Webber : Hegarty Webber Partnership : Bristol, UK

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13 thoughts on “Garden Designer’s Roundtable | How Did I Get Here?

  1. The paths and detours you’ve taken, have served you well, and should be on a required reading list! How you process all you take in and make sense (stylish sense) of it is a wonder. Thanks processing and sharing with us!

  2. It isn’t the destination but the journey, as you so aptly show, regardless of whether we’re talking about gardens or people. Thanks for sharing your journey with us, Susan.

  3. Pam, the journey is the thing, isn’t it. It’s about how we get somewhere more than what our original destination might have been.–s

  4. Christina–I thought I was being a bit obtuse, but I’m glad you liked it. Glad, also that you’re exicted about Leaf.–s

  5. Scott–It’s just the way I’m wired. I can’t help myself and I can’t really explain it. I hope, though that I don’t loose my visual memory…ever.–s

  6. David– I think you hit the nail on the head. Great design is timeless and classic even if it’s of its time. That’s the thruline.–s

  7. We and our work is what and where we’ve been and what we’ve seen and heard. Think good design always wins thru in the end. Fascinating to see where we go next!

  8. Hi Susan, this is a fun post. I love reading about your stylistic/design journey as an artist!
    And I’m eager to see what you’re going to do with the debut of Leaf!!!
    best wishes, Debra

  9. Robert–This is such an abbreviated version it almost doesn’t make sense out of context…but then I often don’t in real life either!–s

  10. Thanks, Debra. There’s a lot more obviously than is here, but I thought it was appropriate to the topic. Happy you’re excited about Leaf.–s

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