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Gardening Answers Knowledgebase

Knowledgebase record #268

Unveiling the Landscape by Teresa Moller, 2014

Reviewed by: Brian Thompson
Review date: 2016-04-01

Unveiling the Landscape cover

Central Chile is represented by one of the five gardens in Pacific Connections. As garden-related books published in Chile are rare, I decided to review a book (in both English and Spanish) by and about a Chilean landscape architect, Teresa Moller. In this beautifully photographed and oversize (and therefore non-lending) book, I was surprised to find much that reminds me of Mediterranean designs.

“Unveiling the Landscape” extends beyond the central, Mediterranean climate zone to the very stark and extremely dry Atacama Desert in northern Chile, and to Moller’s own forest home in the Lakes District of south-central Chile. The projects also range in the original condition of the sites, from nearly pristine, rocky coasts to areas long used for agriculture. In all of these, her designs show respect for the existing environment, whether natural or human-made. Often it takes a careful study of the photographs to discern her work from the original landscape.

I found the most intriguing project to be at Punta Pite, where a pathway begins at the Pacific Ocean, climbs up through rocky cliffs and rough woodlands, and eventually to a park of old cypress trees. Dutch landscape architect Michael Van Gessel described it in this way, “It is obvious that Teresa did not look for variety but simply discovered and displayed the existing variety in the landscape. This she achieved in both a most restrained and at times dramatic way. Landscape scenography at its highest level. The coastal pathway Punta Pite is sheer poetry in stone.”

Excerpted from the Spring 2016 Arboretum Bulletin.

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