Beth Mullins of Growsgreen Landscape Design is calling her design for the show “Over Growth.” She describes it as “a garden that conceptually juxtaposes the gritty combination of optimism and doom that characterizes the mood of the early 21st century.” Post-apocalyptic images blossom in my fevered mind; husks of skyscrapers trailing kudzu, ferns cracking asphalt.
Enthusiasm for “sustainability” is prompted primarily by fear, fear for our collective ass. Even the most myopic has to see we’re all connected and if the corals are dying…Wasn’t that supposedly the message of the photo of the rising Earth as seen from the moon’s orbit in December 1968, described by Galen Rowell as “the most influential environmental photograph ever taken”? How pretty in blue. So young-looking. Notice how well we’ve gotten rid of war, greed and sanctified ignorance.
Beth writes: “‘Over Growth’ aspires to induce reflection and generate action.” Inducing reflection before generating action, I presume. I read recently in the Times a suggestion that we might remedy the increasing acidity of the oceans by pouring lots of lime into them. I suggest that folks who come up with these kind of ideas go to the same side of the room as those who think we should start colonizing Mars in case Earth gets unlivable. You’ll have first class tickets.
Gritty combination of optimism and doom. That describes very well most gardeners’ mood swings, but I doubt that Nature, which takes a longer view, is fretting overmuch, having dealt with bigger messes.
Atop the cedar of the garden next to where I worked today the mockingbird was still singing. I am optimistic because you can’t be otherwise listening to this folderol. And also, because minutes later, a child passed me on the sidewalk, of an age when walking has just been mastered, with big dark intelligent eyes; an immaculate gaze, like Earth from space, proposing it still possible to get it right.