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Winter Lecture: The Eye of the Beholder: Is it Messy, or an Acquired Taste?

Feb. 19, 2022 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Presented by Edwina von Gal, Principal Landscape Designer, Edwina von Gal + Co;
Founder/President, Perfect Earth Project; and Co-founder of Two Thirds for the Birds. Our obsession with tidy, "clean" landscapes is proving to be harmful to the things and the ones we love. How can we step away from the need for ‘neat’ and let nature play a role in how we perceive, design and maintain our human dominated lands? The rewards of gardening with nature, not against it, are a fabulous mix of process and perception. Edwina will discuss the reasons why we need to change the way we garden, the difference it can make, and how to make it all happen. Join her and the BBG community in a transformative commitment to actually do something incredibly effective about climate change and the loss of biodiversity. A link to a full recording of the lecture will be sent to all registered participants.


Edwina von Gal has been principal of her eponymous landscape design firm since 1984,  creating landscapes with a focus on simplicity and sustainability for private and public clients around the world. She has collaborated with noted architects such as Maya Lin, Frank Gehry, Annabelle Selldorf, and Toshiko Mori, on projects for Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Richard Serra, Larry Gagosian, Robert De Niro, Jann Wenner and many others in the environmental, design and art communities. Edwina’s work has been published in most major publications. Her book "Fresh Cuts" won the Quill and Trowel award for garden writing.  In 2008, while designing the park for The Biomuseo Panama, she founded the Azuero Earth Project, promoting native species reforestation on Panama’s Azuero Peninsula, perhaps the first of its kind to work without synthetic chemicals. In 2013, she created the Perfect Earth Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising consciousness about the dangers of toxic lawn and garden chemicals, and the importance of planting native species, to protect the health of people, their pets, and the planet.  In 2021 she launched a new initiative, Two Thirds for the Birds, a call to action to landscape and environmental professionals to make all their projects habitat friendly. She is currently converting her own property, Marshouse, into a laboratory and teaching center for Whole and Healthy landscape practices.  

Edwina received the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art’s Arthur Ross Award in 2012 and is the 2017 recipient of Guild Hall’s Academy of the Arts Lifetime Achievement Award for the Visual Arts. In 2018 she received the NY School of Interior Design’s Green Design Award and The Isamu Noguchi Award, as well as the Conservator Award from Quogue Wildlife Refuge in 2020. She lectures regularly about nature-based landscape solutions.

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