According to Southern California-based designer Laura Morton, “A garden is a living thing. It breathes, grows, and needs care.” How true. Every season, every week, even day by day, brings continuing development and dynamism within the landscape. Maturation and senescence unfold in the garden and the gardener alike.
Keeping up with all that change can be challenging. Which is why design is so valuable. A good garden design tells a story in the landscape that holds disparate pieces together. Problem solving tools and analysis address issues of privacy, site conditions, and other practical matters of our twenty-first century environment, or simply offer creative solutions that make outdoor life more appealing and comfortable. It’s not all pragmatic. Make no mistake, gardens—and gardeners—have a quirky side, as we explore in Chelsea Fringe.
In this issue of Pacific Horticulture we hear from West Coast designers who extend their brightest and best advice for taming our collector’s impulse—who me?—and reconcile our plant-driven desires with maintenance concerns. Read about a wine country landscape producing an abundant harvest of Bulgarian roses, and a tiny front yard in Half Moon Bay that yields an almost daily pot of restorative herbal tea.
At the end of the day, the season, or the year, success lies in building relationships. Whether it’s between client and designer, plant combination in the garden, or colors on the color wheel, nothing exists in isolation. Which is why we are ever mindful of the Global Garden and welcome a thoughtful look at our landscape’s impact on ocean health.