004: Changing Your Mind About Weeds

On today’s episode of The Adventures in Arting Podcast, we’re talking to Peter DelTredici about landscape design and spontaneous urban vegetation.

Peter Del Tredici is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard, where he teaches courses on plants, soils and ecology. He has also worked at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University since 1979, as Plant Propagator, Editor of Arnoldia, Director of Living Collections, and currently as Senior Research Scientist. Peter’s education includes a BA in Zoology from UC, Berkeley in 1968, an MA in Biology from the University of Oregon, and a PhD in Plant Ecology from Boston University in 1991. His most recent book, Wild Urban Plants of the Northeast: A Field Guide (2010, Cornell University Press), focuses on urban ecology and the identification of plants that grow spontaneously in cities.

The photo above was sent to me by Peter with the caption “Monet with Weeds.”

For reference, here is a quick video from MoMA.org on Monet’s painting, Agapanthus, which discusses Monet’s obsessive gardening:

On this episode we discuss aesthetics vs. sustainability and design vs. practicality — all through the lens of landscape design, where choosing aesthetics over practicality is a (plant) life and death issue.

Find Peter online at http://www.peterdeltredici.com/.

Find the podcast on iTunes here.