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“The Eye of the Beholder: Is It Messy, or an Acquired Taste?” with Edwina Von Gal

June 15, 2023 @ 7:30 pm

The rewards of gardening with nature, not against it, are a fabulous mix of process and perception. Landscape designer Edwina Von Gal discusses why we need to change the way we garden and how to make it happen.

Our obsession with tidy, “clean” landscapes is proving to be harmful to the things and the ones we love. How can we step away from the need for ‘neat’ and let nature play a role in how we perceive, design, and maintain our human-dominated landscapes? Edwina will also discuss the new Earth Equity movement, which seeks ethical, social and environmental equity for human and non-human lives, and the systems that support them, and Perfect Earth Project’s initiative Two Thirds for the Birds, a call to action to landscape and environmental professionals to make all their projects habitat friendly.

Principal of her eponymous landscape design firm since 1984, Edwina von Gal creates landscapes with a focus on simplicity and sustainability for private and public clients around the world. She has collaborated with noted architects such as Maya Lin, Frank Gehry, Annabelle Selldorf, and Toshiko Mori, and on projects for Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Richard Serra, Larry Gagosian, Robert De Niro, and Jann Wenner, as well as many others in the environmental, design, and art communities. Her book Fresh Cuts won the Quill and Trowel award for garden writing.

In 2008, while designing the park for The Biomuseo Panama, she founded the Azuero Earth Project, promoting native species reforestation on Panama’s Azuero Peninsula, perhaps the first of its kind to work without synthetic chemicals. In 2013, she created the Perfect Earth Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising consciousness about the dangers of toxic lawn and garden chemicals, and the importance of planting native species, to protect the health of people, their pets, and the planet.  In 2021, she launched a new initiative, Two Thirds for the Birds.

Edwina received the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art’s Arthur Ross Award in 2012 and is the 2017 recipient of Guild Hall’s Academy of the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award for the Visual Arts. In 2018 she received the NY School of Interior Design’s Green Design Award and The Isamu Noguchi Award, as well as the Conservator Award from Quogue Wildlife Refuge in 2020. She lectures regularly about nature-based landscape solutions.

Free for members; $10 suggested non-member donation.
Click here to register.

After the event, you’ll receive a recorded copy of the talk.


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Emanuel Synagogue
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