Beauty of the Wild: A Life Designing Landscapes Inspired by Nature

Beauty of the Wild: A Life Designing Landscapes Inspired by Nature

by Darrel Morrison
Beauty of the Wild: A Life Designing Landscapes Inspired by Nature

Beauty of the Wild: A Life Designing Landscapes Inspired by Nature

by Darrel Morrison


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Selected by Gardens Illustrated for "The Best Gardening Books to Read in 2022"Selected by American Horticultural Society for "Top 10 Books of 2021"In Beauty of the Wild, Darrel Morrison tells stories of people and places that have nourished his career as a teacher and a designer of nature-inspired landscapes. Growing up on a small farm in southwestern Iowa, Morrison was transported by the subtle beauties of the native prairie landscape. As a graduate student at University of Wisconsin–Madison, he encountered the Curtis Prairie, one of the first places in the world where ecological restoration was practiced. There he saw the beauty inherent in ecological diversity. At Wisconsin, too, Morrison was introduced to the land ethic of Aldo Leopold, that we have a responsibility to perpetuate the richness we have inherited in nature. He has been guided as well by the teachings of Jens Jensen, who believed that we can't successfully copy nature, but we can get a theme from it and use key species to evoke that essential feeling.For more than six decades, Morrison has drawn inspiration from the varied landscapes of his life. In native plant gardens at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum, the New York Botanical Garden, and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, he has blended communities of native plants in distillations of regional prairies, woodlands, bogs, and coastal meadows. At Storm King Art Center in the Hudson Highlands, his landscapes capture the essence of upstate New York meadows. These ever-evolving compositions were designed to reintroduce diversity, natural processes, and naturally occurring patterns—the “beauty of the wild”—into the landscape. For Morrison, however, there is also a deeper motivation for designing these landscapes. Strongly influenced by Aldo Leopold's observation that people start to appreciate nature initially through its pretty elements, he explains: “From admiring individual plants within a big composition, you can move to starting to see patterns, and then this leads to starting to think about processes that have led to the patterns. It is a progression. You start to think more about why things are where they are, and how you can perpetuate that, and even deeper, you really start to think about protecting, preserving, and restoring these qualities in the landscapes we are responsible for.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781952620287
Publisher: Library Of American Landscape History
Publication date: 06/15/2021
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 952,020
Product dimensions: 8.40(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Darrel Morrison is a renowned landscape designer and educator whose ecology-based approach has influenced generations of practitioners. He has taught ecology-based landscape design at University of Wisconsin–Madison (1969–1983) and University of Georgia (1983–2005). Morrison lived and worked in New York City from 2005 until 2015, and now lives in Madison, where he is an Honorary Faculty Associate in the Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture at the University of Wisconsin

Table of Contents

Prologue: Wheatfield under Thunderclouds 31. Iowa Farm 72. Out of the Nest 213. Early Forays in Design 314. Merging Ecology with Design 395. Southern Odyssey 696. Expanding Horizons 977. New York City Decade 1218. Restoring the Beauty of the Wild 1439. Under a Montana Sky 153Epilogue: Back to the Prairie 165 Notes 169Acknowledgments 173Index 177
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