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Landscape Architecture: “Parsley Around the Roast?”

My yard is a perpetual, perennial mess. The textures are all wrong, the plants that I expect to spread stay patchy, and the plants I expect to grow tall taunt me with their stubby stubbornness. You get the picture.

Yet, I’m still inspired to keep trying when I see the great-looking yards, gardens and parks around our hometown. Often, I find these gems gracing older, grand homes—such as the Rosenthals’ Birdwhistle or the Emerys’ Peterloon—or great public spaces—such as the Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum. When I see something that strikes my fancy, I wonder about the work that went into the planning and planting. Who pulled together those hardscapes that meander, the water features that soothe, the lush plantings that speak to us of nature’s fecundity? So I’m a bit excited to find out that the Cincinnati Preservation Association is hosting its annual Fall Forum on Historic Preservation with guest speaker Charles A. Birnbaum on Friday, October 21, in the Hall of Mirrors at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza.

Birnbaum is a leading authority on Cultural Heritage Landscapes and is the founder and president of The Cultural Landscape Foundation, an organization that teaches all of us how to see landscape architecture and how to value it. Birnbaum writes that he’s been called a “crusader of forgotten places and the Johnny Appleseed of landscape preservation.” And just to emphasize that landscape architects don’t get the respect they deserve, Birnbaum quotes Thomas Church, a noted landscape architect from California, as saying that his work and the work of his peers is “often dismissed as parsley around the roast.” (Hmmm…wonder what’s on the CPA luncheon menu?)

Money raised from the CPA luncheon goes to support historic preservation activities. Tickets are $40-$60. Call 513-721-4506 for more info.