from the editor
Gained in Translation
a. ^ ^ j
This summer I took atrip downtothe Battery,the southernmosttip of Manhattan, to see the latest work of Piet Oudolf, the Dutch master of the New Perennials school of planting design.This spot, with its vivid history as the first point of call for immigrants from all over the world, was in my memory a depressing, rundown public space cursed with freezing-cold winds (OK, it wasn't smart to visit the Statue of Liberty in February). But what a change: The dank grove of London plane trees has been limbed up to allow more light through to a ground cover of shade-loving perennials; two stylish pavilions are in place; and sinuous new benches follow the lines of the paths through what will be, in another year, a place rich in horticulture as well as history.
A short lunchtime foray downtown is just one of many trips Garden Design editors have turned into ideas to share in this special international issue. My own background as an editor in London took me to Pensthorpe, Norfolk, and to the continent to see Piet Oudolf's early work. Style editor Donna Dorian's visits to Belgium brought her into contact with the Wirtz family. And well-traveled photographers bring the world to our door—Jerry Harpur and Andrea Jones shot the work of Ulf Nordfjell of Sweden and Bill Bensley ofThailand, respectively— two local heroes whose roots in rich local traditions will inspire you.
With all this globetrotting in the name of ideas, people talk about the world being smaller than ever. But in a sense, gardeners have always known this; we are often more familiar with plants from China and South America that have crossed oceans to reach us than we are with our own natives. Perhaps the real difference today is that American gardeners are ever-more receptive to new design ideas. For many years the New World looked only to England for direction, but, as i hope you will discover in this issue, there are new connections, creative content and ideas to try at home to be found everywhere from Bangkok to Belgium.
The fact that good design speaks an international language is crystallized in Battery Park, entry point to America for the entire world. Piet Oudolf (the horticultural master planner and one of several designers associated with the site, i should add) has revitalized a tired and heavily used public space with the mood of a wilder, more natural place.Take a world view and enrich your own backyard. -JOANNA FORTNAM, EXECUTIVE EDITOR
PAST & PRESENT
■ Step forward mover and shaker Charles Birnbaum, the intellectual powerhouse behind Landslide 2006 (page 23).This is a wake-up call to protect America's rich and diverse garden and horticultural heritage, and Garden Design is proud to be part of it. If you care about a neglected garden masterpiece in your own region, please visit www.tclf.org/ landslide/2006/ and stake a claim for cultural conservation. ■ Back to the future of design: Garden Design magazine and the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) place their call for entries for the 2006 Residential Design Awards on page 21.The outstanding gardens of today will be the cultural landmarks of tomorrow, so if you have designed or own such a garden, please don't keep it to yourself—enter this competition and spread the joy.
november / december 200 5
Recognizing the need is the primary condition for design — charles eames
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