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The Most Lively Art

Articles: The Most Lively Art

(The following essay by Margedant Hayakawa first appeared in Pacific Horticulture in Summer 1979 and was reprinted in Spring of 1996)

Gardening is many things—science, skill, exercise, recreation, education—but it is also an art. Perhaps because it is so many things it is less highly regarded in our culture than it deserves.

One of the objects of Pacific Horticulture is to remedy this state of affairs. Gardening needs advocates and spokesmen. It needs a publication where important question can be argued:  Should we have irrigated gardens in a dry country? How can the public landscapes of our cities provide a more wholesome environment and a closer sense of the natural world? How can smaller gardens, using less land, be made to yield greater satisfaction? In other words, what is appropriate horticulture for our time and place. We have already had a number of articles on such subjects, which might be said to deal with the ethics of gardening, and there is more to be said.

The aesthetics of gardening likewise should be discussed more broadly and deeply. We are a thousand years behind the Japanese in thinking about the garden as a serious artistic expression. I would like to s...


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