Tactical Maintenance
4 January 2018


The subject of this project is the notion of the garden. A place delineated as separate from both untended nature and the artificial structures of civilization, containing human made arrangements of natural materials. It’s important to distinguish the garden as a humanly delineated space, which is not naturally occurring. Each garden has a tactic of maintenance which cultivates the intended nature and discourages growth of unwanted species, and prevents decay of the grounds themselves.

Is nature to be enjoyed? Is enjoyment a product of our time? Louis XIV felt that wilderness provided no pleasure and that nature had to be arranged by man to be appreciated. The earliest gardens were most likely naturally occurring clearings “…such spots are the gardens of the gods, or of those favoured by the gods, so that they need do no work to keep the place in order.”

The garden provides a controlled space. It is built by humans and embodies culture. A “wild” landscape has its own conditions and will continue without human involvement. Enjoyment of such a wild place means to accept it, because it was created by numerous consequences beyond any plan. To enjoy a garden is to take pleasure in a person’s work. While some gardens aim to be in conversation with nature, others claim dominance over it.