The gardener's eye

The Gardener's Eye

Saturday, January 21, 2017

You Are Welcome Here

I have just returned from a visit to New York City to hear a lecture by Bill Noble on the gardens of the Cornish Colony in New Hampshire. I purposefully choose a hotel near the High Line when I am in New York and I had a nice walk there on Thursday morning. The grasses and perennials had not been cut down yet and looked spectacular gently blowing in the breeze.

I go to the High Line for inspiration. When I was designing public spaces in Peterborough, my goal was to create gardens of the highest quality possible with the resources available. As I studied public spaces, especially under the mentorship of my friend Lynden Miller, I began to learn the importance of making public spaces available to everyone. Lynden, who has designed many remarkable gardens in New York City, taught me many lessons about making everyone, no matter what their socioeconomic situation, welcome in public spaces.

The Friends of the High Line have taken inclusiveness a step further. At every entrance to the High Line, there are new placards welcoming all people to this public space. They are making a political statement against "the divisive, hateful speech we are hearing and witnessing across our country." I agree with the Friends of the High Line, this is a crucial moment to take a stand and I applaud their commitment to make "equitable and open spaces" that reflect not only the diversity of their community, but of our country and our world.


  1. Thanks for this message of hope, Michael.

    1. This placard made me appreciate the importance of our public spaces that are open to all. It does make me hopeful.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks. We need more signs/messages like this.

  3. Hi Michael
    We are many Danes who do not believe in the hateful tone as we have seen on television and in the media, the past six months, is a true picture of the American people. A people that is known for its friendliness and courtesy to other free nations, people who think differently, and world citizens who want peace and harmony between nations. In Europe we experienced similar forces from 1930 and several years - and many people were tricked and betrayed by the very few, with bloated egos and the tyranny of all but the purebred white man. The Americans came to our rescue and helped us to liberate Europe again. We are therefore many Danes who also believe that a majority of Americans will continue to show integrity, kindness and respect towards the rest of the world.

    With high hopes for a great nation.


    1. Kjeld,
      Thanks so much. I like to think of America as a country that is kind, and has integrity, and is respectful to other nations that different from our own. I hope we will demonstrate that again in the near future. Thanks again for your kind words and wishes, I am very touched.
      My best,

  4. Beautiful sentiment. I can only hope that we, as a country, will come to our senses, remember history, and become a more tolerant, accepting country in the end.

    Troubling times.

    1. I agree, Farmer Julie. I remain optimistic that it will happen.



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