Categories: Design Tips

Keep it Simple

By Published On: July 26, 2011
Keep it Simple


Dr. Michael Mesler, my plant taxonomy professor at Humboldt State University, likened simplicity to parsimony.  When examining computational phylogenetics (a complicated subject) he taught us that the phylogenetic tree with the fewest evolutionary changes was most likely correct.  “Thus,” he would say, “the simplest answer is usually the best answer.”

While the study of the evolutionary relationships of plants or other organisms seems far from design it may not be.  It fact, Mike’s ideas of parsimony, slightly askew of the typical dictionary definition, could be applied to all sorts of life’s curve balls and creative problems.

And in my small mind, life is a set of curve balls and creative problems.  Best solved with the guidance of those of superior minds (like Dr. Mesler’s).

The french potager (clearly, as seen in these images, a kitchen garden) is parsimonious in the scientific sense.  Creative freedom is cultivated within well organized, uncomplicated space using a design scheme that optimizes utility and beauty.  Based on a twist of an intelligible, rectangular theme with the finishes exemplifying native materials, meaningful plantings and care for function.

Lessons of a potager (or computational phylogenetics) can be applied throughout the landscape, of the mind or garden.  When scratching your head as to what to do next remember, the simplest answer is usually the best answer.

Pollination Design
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About the Author: Emily Murphy

I’ve learned there’s something wonderfully powerful in the simple act of growing. Here, in our gardens, we can repair ourselves and our plots of earth with our own two hands. GROW WHAT YOU LOVE and GROW NOW!

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