Thin Places: Gardens That Move You with Richard Hartlage


Date: Thursday, October 22nd, 2015, Free lecture(doors open at 5:30) 6:00pm to 7:00pm.  Seating available on a first come, first seated basis 

7:00pm - 8:00pm - Free Admission to "Seeing Nature" Landscape Masterworks from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection


Location: Portland Art Museum 1219 SW Park Avenue Portland, OR 97205. Get Directions.


Cost: FREE


Presentations have been reviewed and approved by the Oregon Chapter of ASLA for 1.0 Health, Safety and Welfare PDH each for Oregon Registered Landscape Architects.


Description: There are some places in this world that captivate and inspire. They move us - sometimes for reasons we can't put into words. But there is a word for these destinations: they are called thin places.

The term is most surely Irish or Scottish but no derivation can be traced because it is so old. Ancient, pre-Christian, people used the term to describe a place where the boundary between heaven and earth is especially thin. Thin Places can be beautiful or austere, opulent or profane but they are always places that transport us. They nudge us out of our traditional ways of seeing the world, giving us a deep sense of the magnitude of being in the present.

Can gardens be thin places? Richard Hartlage suggests that, with thoughtful collaboration and discipline, they can. Not every project has the intention of becoming a thin place, but those that do can be a profound experience for the garden designer. Richard will talk about two significant projects that have changed how he perceives the process of creating exceptional gardens that leave strong emotional impressions, and the ingredients that imbue a place with meaning. He will discuss how the inherent character of the site must be teased out and magnified. Every detail must reinforce the organizing themes in order to create the kind of powerful experience that can result from an extraordinary garden.

An Apache proverb says: 'Wisdom sits in place'. The idea of revealing and speaking that wisdom in the form of a garden is a considerable task, but one that is rewarded with inspiring results.
Richard is an animated speaker with a deep knowledge and passion for making gardens. He never fails to give insight to the novice or the erudite, and those that just share his enjoyment of beautiful gardens. His humor will enliven a deep philosophical perspective of his subject.Logo_Portland Art Muesum_2015.jpg


This lecture is offered in partnership with the Portland Art Museum. 


Speaker Bio: Richard Hartlage is the founding principal and CEO of Land Morphology. His award-winning, innovative designs are renowned as emotive, immersive spaces that incorporate sophisticated horticulture, artful detailing, and historical knowledge that heighten the human experience of the natural world. His passion for horticulture, cultivated over 15 years working in public gardens and estates, is applied to each design from the conceptual phase through development of maintenance protocol and beyond.


Richard's diverse span of work includes the New Herb and Vegetable Garden at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, the first new garden built in twenty years at this institution, Chihuly Gardens and Glass, the Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens, In Situ Estate, Mountsier Estate, the Vegetation Management Plan for the Seattle Center, and the Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden. His designs have been featured in the New York Times, Architectural Digest, Metropolitan Home, At Home, Fine Gardening, Horticulture, Traditional Home, Pacific Horticulture, Garden Design, and The Seattle Times, in addition to other publications in the United States, Japan, and Europe.


Richard has given over 350 lectures worldwide, has written over 60 articles on gardening and landscape design for national and international publications, and serves on advisory committees and design juries for non-profits. He has contributed to five books on horticulture and design, including Bold Visions for the Garden, a collection of his essays and photography, and is currently working on two new books due out in 2016.



In 2002, the sweet shrub, Calycanthus x raulstonii "Hartlage Wine" was named by the J.C. Raulston Arboretum in honor of his hybridization efforts with this genus. Richard hails from Louisville, Kentucky, and is a graduate of North Carolina State University with Bachelor of Science in Ornamental Horticulture.


Sponsored by

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2015 Lecture Series: Thin Places