When landscape architect / new urbanist Benjamin Morton showed this slide, he probably didn't know he'd nailed me. I'm formal + scruffy except I'm not formal.
This is the actual view from a European parliament building. It overlooks a kitchen garden.
Here is Ben Morton, landscape Architect at Carol R. Johnson Associates. He believes that landscape architecture should play a bigger role in new urbanism. The street plans write checks that the plants can't cash (see "Top Gun" script).
He said some startling things about trees planted between sidewalks and streets. He reminded me that oaks that are a trademark of my neighborhood crack our sidewalks and streets, crush our houses, and sometimes kill our neighbors.
Back to Scruffy
Some Morningside streets require much more landscape maintenance than others. I would shame Johnson Road. But my street is a bit less formal, easier and cheaper to maintain, and charmingly scruffy.
Chez Kearns with a lawn of clover, wild strawberry, moss, and mondo.
A Pattern Language has a euphemism for scruffy: "Pattern 172. GARDEN GROWING WILD." Not this:
"Many gardens are formal and artificial. The flower beds are trimmed like table cloths or painted designs. The lawns are clipped like perfect plastic fur. These gardens have none of the quality which brings a garden to life... "But this:
"A garden growing wild is healthier, more capable of stable growth, than the more clipped and artificial garden. The garden can be left alone, it will not go to ruin in one or two seasons."Anyway, I'm heeding Ben Morton's call to scruffy.