Dr. Seuss: The Poet and the Inspiration
I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees.
This introduction to the furry environmentalist character in Dr. Seuss’ famous children’s book, The Lorax, cleverly gives us insight into the author himself. Theodor Seuss Geisel, writing under the pen name Dr. Seuss, instils in his young audience, a very grown-up concept – You Are Responsible. Through the use of brain-sticky rhymes, his message has an impact on not only impressionable children, but adults as well. Though he focused on various political issues throughout his writing career- not solely composing children’s stories, his book The Lorax, published in 1971, hits squarely on the problem of consumerism and its destructive force on the natural environment.
Inspiration from creativity and moral principals
Incredibly, through the humorous, nonsensical vocabulary that Dr. Seuss adopted, it has made its mark on the world. Dr. Seuss had unique media to present important morals and concerns in a positive and proactive way. Not surprisingly, this laid-back activist has inspired his share of gardens; small ones, large ones, and in-between ones!
Dry Spell Gardening has borrowed both Seuss’ unique, playful style as well as his concern for the environment. Airing as a popular television show on Australia’s LifeStyle Channel, Dry Spell Gardening is headed up by Brendan Moar, a TV host/actor/photographer/landscape architect. Wearing many hats has given Brendan the unique ability to bring fresh ideas to his work, one of which was to create a Dr. Seuss-inspired landscape.
Snuggled in a small space, Brendan paid tribute to Dr. Seuss by creating a fanciful, interesting area that incorporates traditional landscape elements with a poetic twist. Large, white “eggs” make up the seating. Rainbow-like arches frame the patio. Drought tolerant plantings were necessary to support Seuss’ more serious side and also tackle the issue of function in the garden’s location. By bringing all these elements together, Dry Spell Gardening created a space that is fun and practical. Anyone care for some green eggs and ham on the patio?
Dr. Seuss’s legacy
Springfield, Massachusetts would be remiss if it did not host its own display of Seuss memorabilia. As the birthplace of the author, Springfield inspired many of Dr. Seuss’ settings. The Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden created by Stephen Stimson Associates, a landscape architecture firm, is an area designed to commemorate the author and serves as a destination site for many educational field trips. Borrowing from Seuss stories, the design highlights five iconic bronze statues that are replicas of Seuss’ characters. Using characteristic plantings such as eastern white pines to mimic imaginary “truffula” trees and installing a symbolic “pond”, complete with wetland plantings for “Yertle the Turtle”, the landscape combines whimsy with education.
We can’t help but love Dr. Seuss. He somehow merges the ridiculous with the reality in such a mash-up that leaves us smiling the whole way through. With the illustrations in his books so much a part of the story, it’s no wonder Dr. Seuss’ landscapes have been translated into an organic element. Full of imagination and bizarre, fluff-headed, feather-tufted, floppy, twisty plant life, Seussian gardens bring life and childhood into focus. These elements, combined with the altruistic message Dr. Seuss presents for a better world, foster an appreciation for the author and his on-going contribution to our environment.
Article written by guest writer Linda Freymond.
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