In its essence, the landscape has no greater affinity with architecture, the art of space, than with music, the art of time.

Mathieu Kessler, The Landscape and its Shadow (1999)


To me, the art of landscaping is more closely associated with any other art. Its rhythm and its tonal qualities are as a folk song or a sonata. For a friend, I planted a group of sumac on a hillock facing the setting sun. When autumn’s frosty breath turned their leafy crowns into a flaming red, my friend called it the “Tannhauser Group” 

Local color, the expression of the environments dear us and of which we are part, must be reflected in creative landscaping and be its motive. Through generations of evolution our native landscape becomes a part of us, and out of this, we may form fitting compositions for our people. In this little world is found all that makes for a full life. Here we learn tolerance and charitableness, peace and friendliness. It is because of our lack of knowledge that we overlook this fact.

Jens Jensen, Siftings (1939)

Thilo Folkerts, Knowledge Garden at the Jardins de Métis Festival (2010)



A Branch

It is often stated, “the art of making landscapes is just a branch of architecture”. What comparison is there between the creating of a building, which fits into a narrow and limited space, and the creating of large pastoral meadows where the horizon is the boundary, ever-changing in light and shadow with the clouds above, with the light of early morn, at eve when the rays of the setting sun cast their reflection upon the earth, in the silvery moonlight, and in the changing colors of spring and summer and fall and winter? Such are the keys to landscaping.

The landscaper must be imbued with an imaginative mind. If his work is that of a master, it retains youth and vigor into an indefinite time unfathomed by man. The landscaper must see the tree in its full beauty hundreds of years hence. A painting or a cathedral is limited in this respect. Decay starts at its completion. Think of the giant redwoods of California and their forefathers, which probably date back long before the history of mankind! Each tree, each shrub, each flower expresses an individual beauty fitting for certain landscape.

Jens Jensen, Siftings (1939)


Jens Jensen, Columbus Park (1920)