……or, at least they should!    But, then, what is a landscape garden?

It is not a vegetable, beer, or flower garden, that’s for certain.

A landscape garden, at its best, is the most honored of all human art forms.   Nearly every human  culture’s paradise is perceived as a garden perfection,  therefore….a, THE,  Garden of Eden….a place of perfect harmony for the eye, body,  mind, and soul.   Its pieces are various collections and assemblies of Earth’s vegetative and hard surface world usually determined  by the inspired human  mind and imagination and  an amenable  climate to which the art forms  are  usually able to grow, cared for by the human hand  made to grow  into a paradise to enter and leave the troubles of the real world behind.

Landscape gardens, like people, gain character with age.

All other art forms are incidentals, with the exception of music….the beautiful kind, the Beethoven kind,  the kind no one knows anything about these days of noise, noise, and more noise as if  animal grunts.

I was in first grade when my teacher, Mrs. Florence Ray instructed our urban class of 40 students to collect tree leaves.  “We must know God’s beautiful world around us”, this public school teacher emphasized.   I already knew what mom’s peonies and roses  looked like…..I knew sugar maple and ‘slippery’ elm leaves, obedience plant, pansies, dandelions and four 0’clocks….and prickly junipers as well.   Balsam firs, the real ones made by Nature’s God  were celebrated as Christmas trees during the holidays.   I loved their fragrance as much as decorating them.

I learned the ‘tricks’ of the American citizen home garden trade by  working beside my Mother in the back “yard”….She was Germanic by background where garden beauty had to be colorful and precise.   Shrubs were incidentals confined to ‘foundation’ plantings…..that is,  evergreens….a habit from the American urban  1870s  following the American Civil War.

The country had become industrial to win  the war.  Afterward, homes had to be built for factory  workers and shop owners to build the nation….the Europeans were coming.  Workers had to have homes….and so city houses were built with wood, clapboard and cinder blocks to keep costs modest.    Spreader evergreen conifers were what “God” ordered to soften the cold and ugly of the cinder blocks on the street side of each urban  house of the labor class.   Some are probably still there in the older sections of many northern cities.

Urban lots were small, so gardens came to mean flowers, annuals and perennials for house wives…..seeds were sold and bought to control family budgets and that meant more flowers.    Lawn became a statement  of urban neatness of civilized, neighborly persons…..even during the Great Depression and until the end of World War II.   Neighbors shared.

Outdoors is a different place today.   Nearly no one in the Twin City metropolitan area look at a beautiful garden, whether  urban or suburban.    Homeowners no longer know  a fir, hemlock, or spruce….”The city”  plants trees along streetside…..whether the neighborhood  needs or can absorb them.    Beauty, since the garden hemp  revolutions of the 1960-70a, garden hemp, and all that goes with it,  has become the cherished plant of the new American garden  order.

Beauty, both for the American eye and the ear,  has not only disappeared from the  human touch, but among some,  has become an anathema, for if something is inspiringly  beautiful, something must then  be ugly, it’s opposite, and that would upset the level tables of the citizen to be made equal.

Where would one find aural or visual inspirational beauty in  today’s American culture  to depress it?

For a  three and a half minute lesson for the ear, listen to a top orchestral recording of Aaron Copland’s FANFARE FOR THE COMMON MAN…..for a half hour, listen to this American Aaron Copland’s  APPALACHIAN SPRING…or listen to nearly of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3, Largo, or  his “Spring” violin sonata adagio……Of course, there are countless others, if you’d bother to hear them.

Looking for them and finding them can become inspiring as well….I know.  I’ve been there.

For the eye, if you don’t  have your own  beautiful landscape garden to handle  inspiration, go to the Grand Canyon or Canada’s  Lake Louise…..If you want to learn how to grow and own your own  landscape garden for inspiration and beauty, please call us at Masterpiece Landscaping at 952-933-5777.