New York Times-Wrong Again

wci-chop-2.jpgThis is so ridiculous a statement I don’t know whether to be mad or cry, or have a stiff drink-I think I’ll have a stiff drink:

Landscape professionals rely on computer programs “100 percent,” most often choosing Rhinoceros or Maya, according to Mark Thomann, design director at Balmori Associates, a Manhattan-based landscape architecture firm.

The NYTimes is gullible for quoting this guy, and this is more evidence that New Yorkers don’t know there is a whole entire country to the left of them. Some using more than a computer.

It’s not just me, Mike Linn’s classes continue to sell out almost everywhere he appears . . . designers like the pen in their hand, the ability to sketch on-site. Manhattan-who knows?

Here’s the entire story . . . which is laughable in itself if you think some software will make you a designer, teaching you design principles, light, shadow, mood, soils, water, drainage, emotion, function, usable space, utility space, compost, plant life, spacing, growth by region, color, water, irrigation, electrical lines, bed preparation, form, texture, base material for walkways and installing, ponds, fish, bird habitats, ground plane to vertical relationships, art and science, fencing codes/style/application, evening light, and on and on . . .

Here’s a good one:

Technical fumbling aside, gardening by computer can be kind of fun.

Yeah who needs sunlight, the wind in your hair(I said your hair-not mine), smelly dirt, weeds, mulch, rain on your face, the soft sound of the water hose, mosquito’s, basil on your fingertips, Japanese beetles, that 1st tomato . . . for me: it was/is the standing back at the end of the day and saying . . . “yeah, I did that”

Heck no!

Garden in the computer-it’s fun!

She’s got a plan in hand for the fall . . . New Yorker’s . . . . sheesh.

By Rick Anderson

The Whispering Crane Institute was originally formed to act as the umbrella organization for the Philosophy of Design Symposium, and other seminars and workshops given by Rick Anderson and Richard L. Dube’. In the year 2000 WCI became a sole proprietorship owned by Rick Anderson. Today the WCI provides design and consultation services for Landscape Contractors, acts as a Green Industry think tank, and provides training for others in the form of workshops, seminars, and individual consulting. The WCI also provides written material, opinions, case-studies and how-to articles for industry trade magazines.


  1. Landscape designers use landscape design software almost 100 per cent ?! I hear ya, loud and clear ! As a garden designer I insist on the pen. If I ever have to resort to the computer for all my designs , that’s the day I quit. As a master gardener, well, I kinda sorta know the growth pattern of trees and shrubs.

    Be mad and cry !

    Ahhhh, I’m over it; sort of. I just believe that scribbling, sketching, drawing is a natural part of my thought process. Keep insisting.

  2. I noticed that ludicrous NYTimes quote, too, so I’m really glad to run across your reaction!

    I work in a tradition (woodcarving – chisel & mallet, eye & hand) that most people automatically assume is completely machine or computer-driven nowadays.

    Can’t count the times I’ve seen something like this (again, in the NYTimes):

    –a machine-made object labeled “hand-carved” and everybody believing it. But you’re doing exactly the right thing. We just keep educating people.


    Deborah, please keep up the good work.

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