Thursday, January 31, 2008

You Can't Plant Decomposition Without Composition

Piet Oudolf takes his gardening extremely seriously. For him, a garden - or even some hedges - is reflective of emotion. It can express a story. However, sometimes the stories are more tragic.

For Mr. Oudolf, in fact, the real test of a well-composed garden is not how nicely it blooms but how beautifully it decomposes. “It’s not about life or death,” he said, admiring the dark, twisting lines of the fennel. “It’s about looking good.”

"He’s gotten away from the soft pornography of the flower,” said Charles Waldheim, the director of the landscape architecture program at the University of Toronto. “He’s interested in the life cycle, how plant material ages over the course of the year,” and how it relates to the plants around it. Like a good marriage, his compositions must work well together as its members age."
The symbolism at play here is immensely powerful. Amid the beautiful and prosperous plants in Mr. Oudolf's garden are also many dead or decomposing ones.
“You accept death. You don’t take the plants out, because they still look good. And brown is also a color.”
However, we don't necessarily agree that brown is the assigned color of death. We tend to side with The Sixth Sense here that the color of death is red.

[New York Times]

1 comment:

Papa Narsh said...

"He’s gotten away from the soft pornography of the flower,” said Charles Waldheim, the director of the landscape architecture program at the University of Toronto.

- I don't have a punchline or anything> i just wanted to requote that.