May 19,2017
PJ Blogger

Ridgewood NJ, The James Rose Center, a nonprofit landscape research and study foundation, is housed in what was the home of the late landscape architect James Rose.

Unfortunately during a wind storm last year, a large tree uprooted and caused significant damage to the roof garden and adjacent structures . The damage also revealed other structural problems with the home leading to expensive repairs that are necessary to make the property safe.

If you do not know James Rose  was a real character . A true iconoclast  . Along with Garrett Eckbo and Dan Kiley, James  Rose was one of the leaders of the modern movement in American landscape architecture. I had the opportunity to meet him many times in the late 70’s and very early 80’s.  He would always make an impression .Love him or hate him , you would never forget him. Rose was known for his out spoken hi-jinks and his cavalier way of making you feel like an idiot. He was brilliant, creative and someone who always thought out side the box. That would however get him in trouble from time to time .I credit him with my appreciation of gardening and landscaping.

I had  a landscaping business at the time and he gave me a signed copy of his book , “Gardens Make Me Laugh” which fundamentally altered the way I looked at the world. It is most likely the single most obnoxious gardening book ever written. The off beat book had an over sized influence on my life. The book is loaded with gardening and philosophy antidotes and is also one of the main reasons I was never accepted into the college of my choice . I used the book for all my college essays and apparently admissions offices did not share Mr. Rose’s and my sense of humor. However during my early college days I actually got a job based on the fact that I knew who James Rose was .

His most famous quote , “The problem is you live here” is one of the guiding principles of the Ridgewood blog to this day

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