It is wrong to think that landscaping is a collection of specimens from all parts of the world…The finding of plant varieties is a scientific venture, fine and noble in itself, but it must not be confused with art, as is so often done.
~ Frank Lloyd Wright
Each aspect of the Landscape Design was considered a research project. This pertains to both landscape and hardscape elements from plant specimens like bamboo and cactus, to vertical gardens and hydroponics, to rock / gravel ground cover, to water features, to rammed earth. Varied alternatives of each element were directly experienced and evaluated for both their singular inherent qualities and for how they affected and were affected by their context. Alternatives were evaluated for their functional and technical qualities, and how they would reinforce or detract from the Architectural Agenda to which the Landscape contributes.
Landscape elements can more directly express the changing seasons and passage of time than most aspects of architecture, so it is important to experience and note the changing qualities of the elements to be incorporated in the Landscape Design. Landscape and hardscape elements also can address more of our senses with a singular element. Elements such as gravel have a visual presence, have textures that either welcomes or fend off our bodies’ interaction, and makes noise when we walk or drive on it; water has varied optical experiences, does or does not make sounds, and affects the feel of the air around us. Plants also have a strong visual presence, textures that invite or repel our touch, and are one of the few elements with a scent.
Research should document and evaluate the potential full impact of the elements considered for the Landscape Design from the permanent to the ephemeral to the visual to the tactile to the auditory qualities.
A garden is a complex of aesthetic and plastic intentions; and the plant is, to a landscape artist, not only a plant – rare, unusual, ordinary or doomed to disappearance – but is also a color, a shape, a volume or an arabesque in itself.
~ Roberto Burle Marx