What an honor it was to be included as a speaker in the 28th consecutive New Directions in the American Landscape conference sponsored by the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, Larry Weaner Landscape Associates, and the Connecticut College Arboretum! This 2-day, 2-part conference is unique because it avoids propagating trendy jargon in favor of illustrating successful landscape techniques that succeed in real world applications. The first leg of the conference was held in Connecticut at the Cummings Art Center in New London, and the second leg was held in Pennsylvania at the Science Center Auditorium in Blue Bell. This year’s speakers represented a wide range of fields and provided information rarely found in traditional landscape lectures. The varied experiences of the conference attendees, many of whom attend year after year, deeply enhance the program by offering excellent opportunities for professional interaction.
This year’s topic, “Analyzing the Wild, Designing the Garden,” focused on many complex ways natural landscapes are shaped by intricate ecological processes and past human activity. My talk illustrated MCLD’s ability to build residential landscapes amidst this constantly shifting dynamic, and how our enhancements are informed by the careful examination of a site’s surrounding context, and the thoughtful understanding of our client’s lifestyles. The unique conference included talks by highly accomplished ecologists and designers, and explored the synthesis between sophisticated analysis and creative design; I met many talented people who have committed their careers to building and studying many aspects of our environment.