Updates from ASLA

Professional Practice Network News

Members of the Professional Practice Networks (PPNs) were recently surveyed about creativity and what makes for inspired designs in landscape architecture. Responses were varied and included many insightful comments and suggestions, which will be shared and discussed with everyone here over the next few months. 

Now that Labor Day weekend has come and gone, we can look ahead to the changes in the landscape autumn is about to bring (or not, if you’re somewhere more tropical). We asked PPN members to name a place they love to visit in any season, and picked out a few key themes and responses below. While quite a few felt that “all landscapes are amazing in all seasons,” many had favorite spots that are as stunning in the dead of winter as the peak of summer, and at every point in between: “Every place is always changing throughout the year. You can't experience them and understand them without being there in the moment.”

National Parks
• Acadia National Park, Maine – “It offers so many ecosystems - ocean, lake, river, bog, mountain. You are above the tree line, in a cave, you name it, and you can experience wild nature combined with some of the most sophisticated designed landscapes in America, all within one fairly small island.”
• Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona – “Always majestic, sublime, and different.”
• Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee – “Continuous habitat diversity.”
• Olympic National Park, Washington – “Raw beauty and strength.”
• Yosemite National Park, California – “The quiet, magnificent rock formations and trees coupled with the light changes, the air is clean and fresh any time of the year and fragrance of pines, coupled with hundreds of miles of hiking trails that you can discover for the first time.”
• Zion National Park, Utah.

• Boston Common – “It looks good year round and there are always people out enjoying it.”
• Chicago – “Lake Michigan water front, Grant Park, great architecture, change of seasons...just a neat city.”
• Forest Park, St. Louis – “Nature and culture colliding.”
• International Friendship Park, Cincinnati
• National Mall, Washington, D.C. – “History, design vocabulary, multi seasonal interest (cherry trees in the spring, green grass in the summer, fall leaves, and occasionally snow).”
• New York City – “The energy, the varied places that come to life at different seasons. I loved visiting Bryant Park in December recently. In terms of design, there is always a new park, a newly renovated area, or an important new area of urban design to inspire me.”
• Paris – “The parks and the architecture, the scale, the details - everything!”
• Rome – “It's a city about the people, made from the people over time. The history is lived in the present there, and you can feel it, from the materials under your feet, to the café in your hand, to the people bustling by. All the while, the city stands and accommodates this, in its magnificent permanence. It's the most real and enduring place I've ever experienced.”
• San Francisco – “The fog, fuchsias, orchids in full bloom in all nooks and crannies, fantastic food and entertainment for a world-class city and the friendliest horticulture/gardening folks anyone could imagine.”
• Vancouver, B.C., Canada – “There is always something going on, whether urban or wild. Great for people watching or solitude, & can happen all in the same experience.”

Parks & Gardens
• Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain, Georgia
• Chanticleer Garden, Wayne, Pennsylvania – “Attention to planting detail and a rich plant palette that pleases in every season.”
• Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C.
• Hartwood Acres Park, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
• Hillwood Gardens, Washington, D.C. – “There is an extraordinary variety of seasonal planting that delight at all times.”
• The Huntington Gardens, San Marino, California – “With such a diverse plant palette something is always in bloom.”
• Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania – “Amazing plantsmanship and layout of space.”
• My local botanical garden – “Love to see the gardens sleeping. Our local botanical garden has been re-creating itself over the past decade, and it has been wonderful, following its progress throughout the seasons and the years. There is always something to see in bloom or in fall leaf color, or when most of the garden plants are in ‘hibernation.’”
• The New York Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and Chinese Scholar Garden in Staten Island, New York
• Winterthur, Delaware.

And, one favorite answer many may agree with: “My own garden. :) Always something new to see, and I love it like an old cashmere sweater that keeps working season after season.”

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