Tuesday, April 17, 2007


All things seem much quieter at the Reach post-mow and minus the colorful flowers. With a fresh cut, the area takes on a much more "Olmstedian" look. Frederick Law Olmsted, famous for his design of New York's Central Park (at right), is considered the father of American landscape architecture. Olmsted drew inspiration from the British "pastoral" style. From the National Association of Olmsted Parks:
The epitome of pastoral landscape was the English deer park, with its sense of extended space and its gracefully modulated ground and smooth, close-cropped turf. This style he [Olmsted] found to be a special antidote to the ill effects of urban life.
Olmsted liked to reign nature in a bit--to reorder it in a way that makes the human experience most profound. I believe that many American parks follow this model, as well as many of our suburbs (including Wilshire Woods).

At any rate, a freshly mown Reach is more expansive, the palette simpler. It draws my attention outward, rather than a wild and woolly Reach that forces me to focus on smaller, hidden treasures.

I'm preferential to something in between. Simple and clean is good for the human psyche, but so is wild and woolly (not to mention that the latter is also better for the plants and the critters).

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