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Overgrown: Practices between Landscape Architecture and Gardening

Julian Raxworthy (Senior Lecturer, University of Cape Town) Fiona Harrisson



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MIT Press
15 October 2018
Individual designers; Architecture; Landscape art & architecture; Landscape gardening
A call for landscape architects to leave the office and return to the garden.

Addressing one of the most repressed subjects in landscape architecture, this book could only have been written by someone who is both an experienced gardener and a landscape architect. With Overgrown, Julian Raxworthy offers a watershed work in the tradition of Ian McHarg, Anne Whiston Spirn, Kevin Lynch, and J. B. Jackson.

As a discipline, landscape architecture has distanced itself from gardening, and landscape architects take pains to distinguish themselves from gardeners or landscapers. Landscape architects tend to imagine gardens from the office, representing plants with drawings or other simulations, whereas gardeners work in the dirt, in real time, planting, pruning, and maintaining. In Overgrown, Raxworthy calls for the integration of landscape architecture and gardening. Each has something to offer the other: Landscape architecture can design beautiful spaces, and gardening can enhance and deepen the beauty of garden environments over time. Growth, says Raxworthy, is the medium of garden development; landscape architects should leave the office and go into the garden in order to know growth in an organic, nonsimulated way.

Raxworthy proposes a new practice for working with plant material that he terms the viridic (after the tectonic in architecture), from the Latin word for green, with its associations of spring and growth. He builds his argument for the viridic through six generously illustrated case studies of gardens that range from formal to informal approaches-from a sixteenth-century French Renaissance water garden to a Scottish poet-scientist's marginal garden, barely differentiated from nature. Raxworthy argues that landscape architectural practice itself needs to be gardened, brought back into the field. He offers a Manifesto for the Viridic that casts designers and plants as vegetal partners in a renewed practice of landscape gardening.
By:   Julian Raxworthy (Senior Lecturer University of Cape Town)
Foreword by:   Fiona Harrisson
Imprint:   MIT Press
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 229mm,  Width: 178mm,  Spine: 33mm
ISBN:   9780262038539
ISBN 10:   0262038536
Series:   The MIT Press
Pages:   392
Publication Date:   15 October 2018
Recommended Age:   From 18 years
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Julian Raxworthy is a landscape architect living in Dubai. He is an Honorary Associate Professor with the School of Architecture at the University of Queensland, Australia.

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