Human beings have an innate urge to shape nature. Ant hills, beaver dams and bird’s nests prove that we are not the only species to do that. But we do it with living material. Landscape architects have made that human urge their profession. Of course farmers were first. They do it for food, we for a fee.
My own approach is to clean up, empty out, create quiet and space. Being pretty nervous and full of energy myself, I long for surroundings that are in balance. An environment that contains and combines contrasts: sturdy versus fragile, formal versus informal, strong in design, subtle and delicate in its details.
The English author and landscape architect Joseph Spence famously said: What is, is the great guide as to what ought to be. Respect for the past, combined with a curiosity for what is and a feeling for what could be. This is the dynamo that starts the engine of the design. Once that is running, the energy generated by designing charges the dynamo again.
Then nature takes over and all we need is patience. Be aware that you are one in a chain of people that shaped this particular piece of the world. Some parks I worked on started hundreds of years ago. Then my turn came. By the end of this century someone else will intervene and later still, another. You are here only briefly, one moment, you come and you go.
Nature will always be there and try to undo your work. Man-made nature has its own revenge on man by overgrowing what we did. As long as we inhabit this planet, there will be a need for landscape architects.