……..and unfortunately neither do most commercial  landscapers and professors at Departments of Horticulture at state universities.

Landscape gardening in the  present American world is considered among the lowest of lows among common human occupations.   Even school janitors at all levels of American labor are  more highly respected.

Anyone can put a plant in the ground or mow lawns goes the  talk  in today’s   American cultural jungle…….and  what is observed in most neighborhoods in cities and suburbs seem to support  it.

Another talk these days involves the question…..should some grounds be made more beautiful than others?…..Won’t more beautifully created and maintained grounds make other  citizens, especially neighbors  feel  less equal?  more  intimidated?  more  insecure?  less happy,  more unfit and out of kilter, drink and get drugged  more?

Probably…..and yet  most certainly the indigent of all classes will have less time to feel, act, or  be indigent.   Others may argue that any  high from  participating in the creation of  noticeable   landscape garden art beauty   is just another drug….and I’ll agree with that claim from personal experience.

I personally believe  that the easiest of all art forms for common folk to command, especially among the human male population, is the art of landscape gardening…….that is the ART OF CREATING A BEAUTIFUL LANDSCAPE.   It is usually a male art form…….The male eye is  more naturally perceptive and imaginative  in  recognizing shapes and sizes, angles, and lines, space, form,  and vacancy  than his female competitor……and she more  demanding of color……he the bigger forms and scenery, and she the smaller textures and softer colors of the flowerbed.

Landscaping is supposed to be an art form, but in practice and in university and other local teachings it is taught as a maintainance  occupation…..janitorial work in public language.  Nearly no one in the general public today can explain what a cultivar is, or even a conifer or an annual.   University people, office people,  maintenance people, sales people, politicians and today’s  students  live and work indoors.   People don’t have much of a plant world anymore.   Outdoor work is sold to immigrants, legal and illegal.

Universities murder rather than inspire whatever art forms they intrude upon to “teach”, not necessarily by intention, but by bureaucratic habits and judgments.  They also sell political correctness from time to time.   For two hundred years a highly valued, reliable  popular  coniferous creeper in the English speaking world was called  “Japgarden Juniper”. …..a name now banned in the trade.

At that time in American history  during  mass immigration from our  rural lands to the city, and the  times   of high birth rates and vast numbers of immigrants flocking from Europe before WWII,   small lots limited  new homeowners’  chances to be creative as a landscape garden artist.  Urban rules were laid out.  Elms and later ash trees were foisted on city  boulevards, whether citizen wanted or not.    Lawn became  worshiped by all as a sign of urban civility, cleanliness, openness, free of  rural corn, cow, and pig life.   Lawns were open for neighbors to visit with neighbors and children to play with neighboring  children, and the same habits were passed on to the suburbia and exurbia, no matter what opportunities for beauty the often vast and vacant spaces offered for  engaging landscape gardening as a wonderfully inspiring  art form……even when children began to disappear from the family being.

Garages got a lot fatter, too…..as did so many   citizens foreign to landscape garden arts.

Yet, there is a  bit of hope in some  Twin City and suburban  communities for the  cultural arrival of something resembling the art of  landscape gardening.   Much of what is done  is ticky-tack, disorderly,  usually ugly and without  hint of artistic beauty,  done not from and for inspiration but  to eliminate the pain of  working outside rather than any engagement with  the art of landscape gardening.

There are times when you cannot avoid viewing a beautiful landscape setting.   Most occur in  Nature, for Nature is forever a war between harmony and disharmony, order and disorder,  the beautiful and the ugly.   When you do, take time to put into thought and word….why  is this scene so beautiful?

Or when you are at home,  listen to the best  adagios by Beethoven, so many so simple, so beautiful in harmony and form  for the ear to perceive.   These creations came off a piece of paper through an artist’s mind,  training, and experience.

The Art of Landscape Gardening  in the ideal, should  be for the human eye, what Beethoven’s adagios are for the human ear.   Ask yourself what tricks of Beethoven’s trade were used to create such beauty  to inspire  the human  ear, mind, and soul for most of the tricks are the same as those needed  to create  beautiful harmony in the landscape garden for the eye.

In nearly every culture known to man,  Paradise is perceived as a magnificent  Landscape Garden.