The sound of laughter brought me into the kitchen.

Rounding the corner from the front hall, I found my wife wiping tears from her eyes as she carefully put yet another preschool project into a binder for my daughter’s “Special Box.”

“What’s so funny?”

“You’ve got to see this,” she said.

I walked to the table. All I saw was an indistinct red crayon shape on a piece of plain white copy paper.

“Do you know what this is?” she asked me.


“It’s Marin’s favorite vehicle--a two-person elephant!”

She turned the paper over so I could see the note my daughter’s teacher had written all those years ago.

I laughed and told my wife, “I guess we don’t have to worry about buying a car when she turns 16--though it might be cheaper.”

I was reminded of this story as I read through the final copy for the Premier Issue of Landscape Architect Business.

Like my daughter’s choice of transportation, the designs you create for your clients and how they are received are ultimately a matter of perspective--and perspective is always a tricky thing.

The design of a healing garden is a good example. As Joe White notes in “A Positive Distraction” starting on page 26, “People who are ill interpret things differently than those who are healthy.”

He goes on to explain how a particular healing garden featured a large abstract sculpture that looked like a whale diving into the ocean to casual observers, but looked like a symbol of death and dying to folks who were ill.

The differences in perspective were so great that the sculpture was ultimately removed which was not I’m sure, the designer’s intention or desired result. But as you know, not everything can be anticipated.

To help you marry your vision with your client’s (and their client’s), this issue is devoted to creating great outdoor spaces--ones that evoke an emotional response, and are functional and sustainable.

It’s a tall order, but I’m happy with what our writers came up with. I hope you are too.

If you are, or if you’re not, feel free to let me know. You can contact me by land, air or sea using your favorite form of communication.


Rodney J. Auth


866-444-4216 x226