blackhorse

Landscaping & gardening

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I am looking for books on Landscaping and gardening from an Objectivist friendly POV, ie the same aesthetics that Roark, as well as real architects, applied to their architecture except applied to landscaping and gardens. Anyh recommendations? I have read "Gardens are for People" by Church, but am looking for the "Roark" or "Wright" of landscape design. Thanks!

( I ought to write a book on landscape and garden architecture created and explained with Objectivist values!)

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Blackhorse,

You might want to see if you can find some pictures of Frank O'Connor's landscaping work on his home with Ayn in Chatsworth, California. The architecture by Richard Neutra was modern, the time was right after The Fountainhead, so it's reasonable to assume Frank's work would have been in line with the aesthetics Rand proposed.

Michael

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Here are some photos (check the slideshow). I don't know if Frank did the landscape, since the house was several years old when they bought it, but it would have been to Rand's taste; they'd lived in the house for at least four years when Shulman photographed it. The interior plantings and the flower arrangements are presumably Frank's.

http://www.architect..._article_072001

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Thanks for the links, Peter. The slide show was great! Ayn Rand’s cat is huge in her arms.

I just modestly helped my daughter design a fenced in playground behind her house, and ran into landscaping issues. I wanted to see ground and grass on the forty by forty foot area, but she settled on wood chips on top of a covered black tarp. It has a play house, swing and slide set, etc., and looks professionally done.

Last year I grew a garden but it was more expensive than just buying them down the road at a neighbor’s fruit stand. Plus my homegrown tomatoes started to get “the grout” before they were ripe and I was reluctant to put an anti-fungal powder on them because we have well water and my waterhouse was less than fifty feet from the garden. Which reminds me, I need to get another watermelon.

The front of my house is not fancy but has a lot of flowering bushes and a maple tree in the center of the yard. The back seven acres is about three acres grass and fruit trees (multiple apple, and peach trees, and one pear, cherry, and plum.) The rest is woods though I have a road cutting back about a hundred yards into the trees.

Peter

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There is a lot to be said about this in the context of, for instance, the gardens that dominated the Romantic era, versus the more classical gardens of the Enlightenment. It is tempting to believe that an "Objectivist" garden would not be a wild, random group of disparate bushes, flowers and crooked rock paths. But the most obvious counter example to the Romantic gardens would be a contempary Japenese garden. Does anybody seriously believe, however, that Japense gardens would be approved by Leonard Peikoff?

Perhaps Rand is best suited for one's library, not his garden.

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I don't think I would hire Roark as an architect. I mean, he designed a housing complex without any communal area or recreation space. No wonder he did not have many clients. I imagine a Roark garden as a bunch of pugnacious cacti.

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An esthetic principle that Roark and Wright shared is that a building and its site ought to appear as if they had been made for each other; ideally, the observer who has seen them couldn't imagine one without the other (see the description of Monadnock in the bicycle seqence in The Fountainhead). This should apply straighforwardly to landscape design. A good design wouldn't be wild and random, but we would feel that wild, random nature at its best might have done this.

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I don't think I would hire Roark as an architect. I mean, he designed a housing complex without any communal area or recreation space. No wonder he did not have many clients. I imagine a Roark garden as a bunch of pugnacious cacti.

you're probably joking, but if not- there's no proper place for recreational spaces or communal areas in low-rent, gov-sponsored housing. don't confuse what he did for a strictly budget-conscious project as some kind of ruler for his raw aesthetic talents.

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