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Designing Spaces

Articles: Designing Spaces

The Whitfield/Dahle garden designed by Susanna Dadd. Photo: Mitch Maher

Making a garden is a creative expression. And as we all know, an intellectual exercise as well as a physical one.

Put all that together and it’s no surprise that we find ourselves in an emotional and sometimes complicated relationship with the landscape. Plants, birds, insects, friends and family, soil creatures—it’s all a rich sensory soup that tugs at our heart (so many beautiful plants) and challenges our mind (too many snails!)

Gathering stories about gardens and gardeners for this issue was a delight. Few arenas in adult life give us the freedom to create an environment, even play. We gardeners are so lucky. Starting with no more than an idea or an intention, the end result may be as varied as a performance amphitheater in a Southern California garden, or a welcoming landscape for family, art and wildlife just outside of Portland, Oregon. Gardens are social.

Creative gardeners are fluent in design yet grounded in the workings of nature. They interpret needs and desires and provide solutions and beautiful spaces that enhance...

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