While we all live our lives in designed landscapes of various types, only on occasion do we consider what these landscapes mean to us and how they have acquired that significance. Can a landscape architect or garden designer really imbue new settings with meaning, or does meaning evolve over time, created by those who perceive and use these landscapes? What role does the selection and arrangement of plants and hard materials play in this process and just where does the passage of time enter into the equation?
These questions collectively provide the core material for Meaning in Landscape Architecture and Gardens, a compendium of four landmark essays written over a period of twenty years by leading scholars in the field of landscape architecture. New commentaries by the authors accompany each of the essays and reflect on the thinking behind them as well as the evolution of the author's thoughts since their original publication.
Although the central theme of these writings is landscape architecture broadly taken, the principal subject of several essays and commentaries is the garden, a subject historically plentiful in allusions and metaphors. As a whole Meaning in Landscape Architecture and Gardens offers the general reader as well as the professional a rich source of ideas about the designed landscape and the ways by which we perceive, consider, react, and dwell within them - and what they mean to us.
The essays have been perennial favorites in landscape courses since their original publication in Landscape Journal. Bringing them together - bolstered by the new commentaries - creates a book valuable to all those creating gardens and landscapes, as well as those teaching and studying these subjects.