As we celebrate this grand opening, we are commemorating the biggest gift we have received. That gift is intangible yet priceless: throughout the entirety of this project, there has been someone there to support us. When I think about the scope of the project, it really has been about the people who have put their heart and souls into it. Throughout this process, I have drawn on relationships that I have forged for more than 20 years. Every friend, every contractor has told me they felt like this is the project. The one we have all been waiting to do together. It really is the perfect project.
When I came to the Garden nearly ten years ago, Steve Bloom and Diane Durston were already discussing expansion plans. I quickly realized the magnitude and how a design like this happens once every one hundred years if not longer. To start talking about this ten years ago and then to get this far is incredible. I don’t think we will ever do something like this again.
Probably the hardest part of this project has been practicing moderation, to recognize the emotional and physical investment and how quickly we move. It has been an exciting project and I have struggled to keep myself calm and not get too excited. Moderation is the toughest thing to do. This is common among most designers: the single most difficult thing is to moderate your actions and thinking. I liken it to being a painter. You just keep painting and then before you know it, you are painting without purpose and you are past the threshold of where it looks good. Knowing when to stop is key.
We want the Garden to remain a tranquil, gentle, natural gathering place. My hope is that when you enter the Garden and see the expansion, you will find it to be the same. It is now a little bigger, yes, and updated, but in essence, I hope you will have the same experience as before. It is important that we remain who we are. That is why we were able to do this expansion. It is not meant to change anything, but to help us all grow.