The Evolution of a Great Garden - Wallace Landscape AssociatesWallace Landscape Associates
Wallace Landscape Associates


The Evolution of a Great Garden

I had the privilege of visiting some wonderful public gardens this month. Among them was the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey. This  420 acre garden has been designed with great creativity as a setting for a large and ever growing collection of sculpture. Near perfect maintenance supports the design intent. A day in this garden is marked by a series of enchanting and surprising experiences.

In NW Washington DC, Georgetown, I visited Dumbarton Oaks. This 10 acre garden surrounds a 19th century mansion, which is also open to the public. Designed by Beatrix Farrand, one of the great women of landscape architecture in the 1920’s, Dumbarton Oaks has kept its magical qualities through the years, in no small part due to excellent and informed maintenance. The patina of time is apparent on some structural elements, but it merely adds to the charm. I could imagine living in the midst of this splendid landscape.

A truly great landscape is a joy to experience… more so if you live within it day-to-day and encounter the changes that come with the seasons and the years. A multi-dimensional construct, a great garden requires inputs of creativity, knowledge, patience, persistence and a bit of serendipity. A great garden never happens over night and it can be compromised in a single day by ambitious, but untrained maintenance personnel.

Do you aspire to being surrounded by a garden that delights and amazes you every day of the year? It is a laudable aspiration and one that is rarely achieved for a number of reasons. It requires a commitment to clearly communicating your vision to a landscape architect who, we hope, listens intently and carries out your wishes. It requires the creativity and knowledge of an experienced designer to interpret your vision as a sustainable garden. And it takes courage to express yourself in your garden, be it with plantings and structures or sculpture and artwork.

It takes patience to fulfill the vision. Construction takes time and work. Plants require time to grow to their optimum size. And knowledgeable technicians must continually maintain the landscape for it to reach its ultimate degree of excellence. It requires a willingness to invest in such a vision. Few people have the discipline to reach this lofty goal. Those who do have enjoyed the incomparable pleasure of living in a great garden. Many of them have left a legacy of excellence for generations of garden lovers to enjoy.

Wallace Landscape Associates Inc. has been in the business of creating great gardens, both large and small, since 1980. If you aspire to excellence in design, construction, maintenance and service, consult today with our landscape architects in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and Maryland. It could be the start of something great.

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