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Cultivating Place: A Wide-Angle Garden Design Education with Katharine Webster

There's something to be said for having deep and historic roots to one region – one gardening and natural history home. I have an admiration for gardeners who’ve been born and raised in the historic home territories of their families before them, who have been working their own gardens for 20, 40 or 60 years.

I have yet to live and work in the same garden for more than 7 years. And while I do envy these long tending one spot gardeners, I also see the benefits of having gardened in a wide variety of places, cultures, environments. I was born and raised at 8,000 feet in Colorado, but grew up regularly visiting extended family - and living myself - in a wide variety of environments across the country – from New York City and Boston, to the Adirondack Mountains of New York, the coast of Rhode Island, interior and coastal South Carolina, Northern Idaho, and the downtown's of Los Angeles, Seattle and St. Louis. You see my point. 

So while I celebrate those who’ve been able to build a relationship with one place for life, I've come to appreciate the kind of wide-angle education my family gave me on the differing look and feel of different places, and on the universal gardening/greening instincts you can start to see repeated by people in any location. 

This week on Cultivating Place, I’m joined by landscape designer, Katharine Webster. Now a resident of California's Bay Area, she grew up in the North East and spent summers on land and water in the 1000 Islands of Canada. She studied art, sculpture, and finally landscape architecture where she became compelled by the interface between the built environment and the landscape, finding power and meaning in the way that thoughtful and creative designers worked in this interface.

With gardening internship experience in New York's Central Park and a family member/mentor who from an early age encouraged and taught her to really LOOK at the world around her, Katharine too has had a life offering a wide-angle landscape and garden education. Her early experiences and educational (formal and life education) journey lit a fire in her to shape landscapes. 

You can download or subscribe to the Cultivating Place podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

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Jennifer Jewell is the creator and host of the national award-winning, weekly public radio program and podcast, Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History & the Human Impulse to Garden, Jennifer Jewell is a gardener, garden writer, and gardening educator and advocate. Particularly interested in the intersections between gardens, the native plant environments around them, and human culture, she is the daughter of garden and floral designing mother and a wildlife biologist father.