It’s the season of love, and like every year we find ourselves overwhelmed with all the love that we feel… For our families and loved ones and for our clients (always at the top of our list, always!) This year our hearts are also brimming for the amazing healthcare professionals who are helping us through this pandemic, the grocery store and restaurant workers, mechanics and farmers, teachers and care providers, and organizations who are keeping things moving forward. More specific to our profession, we are inspired by the dedication of architects in the Bay Area and beyond to create spaces that keep us sane and advance the definition of Landscape Architecture and the shaping of our future. Needless to say, we cannot express enough love, but quickly, here, we will try.
We pray that we didn’t just get that 90’s classic stuck in your head, but if we did maybe it’s time to turn up the volume and dance! And here we are trying to be serious… this age-old question of what love actually is may never be answered for certain, but we have a pretty good sense by now of what it means to us. In our minds, it’s a form of dedication where you forget that you’re working hard (like when you stay up all night working on a landscape design because you want it to be a spectacular place for your clients to live.) It’s inexplicable passion (like when you see a new plant and simply have to include it in a landscape.) And it’s a respect and admiration for others, whether they be clients, peers, construction professionals, or people we don’t even know… When we are so excited about their work and success and purpose that we know it must be a form of love we feel. That’s our answer, and we’re sticking to it.
It’s the simple things necessary for life that sometimes go overlooked, and if there’s one thing last year taught us, it’s not to take anything for granted. This year, we are extra dedicated to appreciation of all things that sustain us as well as the people who bring them to us. Whether it’s the organic seeds or plant starts for the garden or a grocery store, farmer’s market or CSA box harvest, we look on each cabbage and potato knowing that there was effort and love involved in getting it to our table. We are very excited about the work being done at UC Davis to provide accessible Covid testing to farm workers in the Central Valley (among many other local organizations improving conditions and providing medical aid.) As we step into another growing season, we feel that this year is looking brighter thanks to these efforts and that is definitely something to love.
So much amazing work has been done these past few years in Landscape Architecture in shaping a dialogue around how we create space. When we design outdoor spaces, we strive to shape the environment in ways that meld past, present, and future. This year, we are officially in love with Berkeley Professor Walter Hood and Grace Mitchell Tada’s newly published book, ‘Black Landscapes Matter,’ which gives a historical perspective on how Landscape Architecture has shaped our society to this point, the process of unearthing and elevating stories that have been buried in this process, and the future of creating spaces that reinvent our idea of the landscape on all levels. Yes, we know a book on Landscape Architecture might sound technical, but we can assure you that it actually is fascinating, insightful, and (while the subject has always been relevant,) especially relevant moving forward. Check out this ALSA interview with Walter Hood or consider buying the book. We think you, too, will fall in love.
If you’re reading this, chances are we have a lot of love for you! J.Montgomery Designs continues to take new clients to do what we love most, helping your vision for your home come to life. We hope to hear from you.
Credit to Cynthia Montgomery for the Floral Arrangement featured in this blog!