Germinate, Renewal & Reinvention

Most gardeners I know look at every New Year as another chance for renewal and reinvention. I know I do. Improvisation and seasonal rhythms—along with the occasional aberrant departure and the sometimes alarming consequences—are as familiar to us as the grip of our favorite trowel. Maybe that’s why we’re so resilient.

Luminous individual wafer-like seeds of a Lomatium seedhead. Photo: John Whittlesey

Luminous individual wafer-like seeds of a Lomatium seedhead. Photo: John Whittlesey

Conditions change, the climate shifts, as do social and political agendas, yet collectively our body of knowledge and experience grows. Nature is a catalyst for growth in far more ways than a dormant seed that springs to life in response to lengthening days and warmer temps. Although, as you’ll discover in the pages ahead, seeds are amazing instruments of natural engineering and art that are at the heart of biodiversity—and life.

In this issue we meet an unsettled young architect who, in response to a mere germ of an idea, left home and security for the other side of the world in her search to learn more about sustainability. Here in the West designers are working with plants and very local conditions to invent welcoming spaces where people gather and lives unfold. And, thanks to those who
create online, whether you’re looking to identify a native plant, compose artful garden combinations, or are searching for a perfect solution for a shady spot in the landscape, valuable garden resources are now available at our fingertips. New ideas are constantly hatching; farming insects is definitely an emerging innovation.

Exploring and sharing this journey is what Pacific Horticulture is all about. I hope the stories in this issue fill your winter with beauty, knowledge, and inspiration for some invention of your own. And, if we’re very fortunate, we too can measure our lives in the growth of mature plantings like the remarkable Ruth Bancroft and her exquisite garden.