"No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it." – Albert Einstein

About this blog

Does your garden work for you? Despite huge body of advice out there—just think about all books, magazines, blogs, social media, TV programs—many garden owners are still not satisfied with the outcomes of their efforts. As if some magic ingredient was missing. I am convinced that this magic ingredient is not just experience: it hides in fundamentals, like clarity of what one wants to achieve and why. Then comes how, which means understanding design principles and our mental responses to the space around us.

Design and architecture reflect the society, and simultaneously shape the society. The garden is not just an 'outdoor room', as we were taught by landscape architects of the previous century. Today's garden is a place where a lot of forces meet and become tangible: the hectic life of a modern-day professional, the individual battle between 'to be' and 'to have', as well as the changing weather patterns, and the issues of human dominance and responsibility. These forces create friction between what we like, what is feasible, and what is sustainable to eventually undermine traditions and incite us to rethink our landscapes. By deciding how we garden, we make decisions with little big consequences—in the first line for our wellbeing and integrity, in the second for all living things that are part of this world, including those that come after us.

Thus, my plan is not to write about five best companion plants to roses, or what to do with a shady corner, or share stunning garden photographs (although sometimes I might). I think there are many other authors that do it really well and I just don't see a need for one more. Instead, I would like to give you a compass to find the magic ingredient by yourself. I would like to inspire you to make the most of your outdoor space by showing you various angles to look at things. I want you to have a garden that brings you joy, that gives you resilience to cope with difficult times, that provides respite from life pressures. The garden that gives you safe space to be you. I am trying to remove 'impossible' from my daily vocabulary. That is my rebellion against rules and common beliefs, which I will be sharing on these pages.

I meant to write about something completely different this month. Yet, in one of newsletters which came to my inbox this week, I found again a call on the urgency of saving pollinators – or otherwise WE are going to be in trouble. In my opinion, there is a dangerous logical flaw with the utilitarian approach to conservation, which I would like to bring to light. I use examples of science and art to illustrate the paradox that leaving practical expectations behind is beneficial to humanity. It is a gentle but rebellious reminder within prevalent narrative why it is imperative to save the bees for the bees.
I took the plunge and talked about my journey into and out of burnout in an interview by my wonderful coach, Heidi Marke. I also talked about some of the circumstances associated with my decision to change a career from science to garden design.
In pursue of ease in our overloaded lives, it may happen we ditch the effort that could possibly make us happier. Did you ever consider that a no-maintenance garden may lack engagement, which is necessary for profound, spiritual joy? Here I describe a particularly memorable experience from one of our alpine hiking tours and a lesson it taught me. And why I think that working in your garden is essential to deep satisfaction.
Ever since I'd decided to leave research to become a garden designer, I've been haunted by this question: Is this the age to design gardens, or am I playing music on Titanic? I am writing this words from safety of my home in Germany at the time when Russian army is killing civilians in Kiew. I am Polish with part Ukrainian roots, so the evil suddenly became personal, and the question even more pertinent than ever.