I WENT ON A far away trip, to Lanzarote. I visited virtually the
Cesar Manrique Cabrera Foundation. The site, viewAt.org, has
the panoramics of Ricardo Cambon, photographer. It is rare to
find in the wild web, something this impressive. I knew about
this landscape designer from my usual roams through out
the web to escape the dull, boring, repetitious, nauseating, predictable, landscape installations on this Caribbean isle.
I remind all readers that I receive/expect no fees for mentioning anything here, something perceived in other circles as an opportunity.
My vocation is to criticize, my mission, to offer some examples/views that those interested in making a buck, or those
with protagonist urges will not bother to mention, carrying blinders usually. In brief, I prefer to argue than to agree, with
respect and intelligence.
On one hand, on the other, everyone should be able to judge,
question on theses matters, it affects your pocket and the environment. I am not interested in having groupies, something stimulating to some; but to make readers willing to inquire, demand, observe with new eyes, the environment surrounding them, the natural, and the installed.
From Lanzarote, I moved to the commercial garden design scene in Florida and else. You will find this one under Raymond Jungles.com.
TO JUDGE this type of installations, you need time and patience. There are more than ten examples, with at least five pictures each of works on this portfolio. All of them, start with
a plan that looks pretty much as chinese to the lay man/feminist. Do not bother.
SOME of the examples are cold, sterile, impersonal. Mostly because of the architectural style of the buildings. Be aware, if you design a concrete box/regtangle with a lot of glass and metal you will need a miracle to create some warmth with the plants installation. In my already known humble opinion.
My favorite, for the imaginative use of concrete treated with acid to give it a greenish color is the Montifiore Garden. Just one little part of a pond, the path over it, in cement. There is abuse of palms, grass and other plants. However, I can not say it is the kind we have in Puerto Rico, even if the same exact plants/palms are over used, there
is evidence of perspective, focus, movement, symmetry and
asymmetry here. I am not fond of water, fountains, ponds, fire pits or barbecues, unless necessary. Anything that complicates life in a garden I can do without, except in rare occasions. All water features require electricity, some chemicals.
IF YOU noticed I did not say much about Manrique Cabrera. There is a Confucian simplicity in his work. A bending, yielding
with nature in the building, with the installation. Total harmony with the surroundings, without any arbitrary or out of place imposition. Such is comparative horticulture. One is left with a powerful sensation that is lasting and pleasurable, at least from this side of the garden.