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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Spark that ignited Landscape Design within...


People often ask me,
 'What made you want to study Landscape Architecture?'

So I decided, why not write about it in my blog?

Trimming some Sedum plants...
Senior Year 2009... An Internship with Johnsen Landscapes & Pools 



The Window at my bedside

      As I awoke to the sun shining in my eyes through the the shades, as always during the summer months, I cracked open my window; stuck my hand out the window as far as the screen allowed and got a feeling of how hot it really was outside. At the corner of my eye, I noticed my neighbor swinging an axe at some large fibrous roots in the soil. 


My neighbor's yard had a few trees here and there. Mixed in were a few shrubs and some tomato plants.

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         Both his property and mine are postage stamp style yards (a square plot approximately eighth of an acre). The space between my home and his, is approximately twenty feet. 


       I was so intrigued at the effort that he was putting into getting rid of this root (which was obstructing the border that he was creating for his garden bed) , that I started to get jealous over the fact that I did not have the power (mentally+physically) to create a design in my yard as well. 


Keep in mind, at this point, I was twelve years old...


       I ran over to my other window, which over-looked my 'gigantic' eighth of an acre yard. It was a blank slate (as far as I was concerned). The few things in my back yard were an arborvitae which was planted under a maple tree (the maple tree over hung into our yard from my other neighbor's yard) and our classy twenty one foot above ground (aluminum sided with an oak wood-print) pool, right smack in the middle of the yard.


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There was approximately fifteen feet of grass in all directions of the pool, to the border fence around the yard...


       Never before this point did I ever even think about the quality of our outdoor living space. I personally thought we had the best yard on the street, since we had a pool. From this point on, I thought that we had the WORST property on the street. This was due to the lack of plants and the presence of our pool. 

       My mom called me to come to the kitchen since breakfast was ready. During breakfast, I was talking about planting and designing the yard with my family. They were fascinated due to my sudden interest in landscaping. They asked me, "what made you start thinking about designing the back yard?" I answered with a simple, "I don't know."


I knew!

R. Salch


       Deep down inside, the mental image of my neighbor beginning his planting bed would be the spark that would ignite my future career as a Landscape Architect.



R. Salch 
Mackerel Cove,  Jamestown RI


       So I ran outside and cracked open my neighbor's gate to take a peek at what he was creating. He spotted me and came over. He invited me into his yard to check it out. My mom came over and 'apologized' that I was 'butting' in on his work. He wanted me to stay, so I did. He handed me a shovel and started explaining what he wanted to do in his yard. 

       I envisioned his dream-scape and understood his excitement. I shouted out, "Let's start now!" So I grabbed the 'flathead' shovel and started outlining a border.

       My mom called me in for lunch. I talked about how much I wanted to start a garden in the backyard. I also said that we should get rid of the pool. My father and brother disagreed... that was the end of the argument. Six years had to go by until I would eventually win that argument.

       That night, I dreamt about a design for my yard. I knew at that point that I had a natural talent for designing landscapes. It has taken six years, but that same design I dreamt has been rendered into reality. 


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Picture to come... 
Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of the finished product
on this computer.



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