Last night, friend M and I drove 40km to attend a lecture at the U, entitled “Gardens as Elements of an Urbanizing World”. The lecturer is a world-renowned “expert on the development of landscape architecture through the ninteenth and twentieth centuries. He was co-founder of his university’s interdisciplinary doctoral program “Practice and Theory of Creative Research in the Arts”.
I have long been looking at and considering land use in suburbia, and have noted with pleasure the increased recognition of the need for urban and suburban allottments which enable people to grow at least some of their food, if they do not already have a piece of owned earth on which to do so. What surprised me in this lecture was an almost total lack of emphasis on gardens in urban settings which could augment food supplies for people living there; I would rather have seen developments in this area, than on the history of the evolution of pleasure gardens of well-to-do landowners and leisure places of large communities.
While having breakfast, browsed on line articles from “The New York Times”, still somehow preoccupied by last night’s lecture, and came across the article:
“Smokestacks in a white wilderness divide Iceland” by Sarah Lyall, February 4, 2007. The New York Times.
Having seen many photos and artworks picturing Iceland, which is a place of peculiar beauty, and perhaps is a natural Variation of the Garden, in all its possible meanings, I was very much moved by the contents of this article – a stuggle between the need to conserve an environment and the necessity of increasing trade by a particular nation of people.