The Man Who Planted Trees
By Brad Priest, Landscape Designer at DG2 Design
As Landscape Architects we generally maintain a reverence for the natural world – one that is not only necessary in order to find success in the field, but also seemingly innate in many of us. However, the hustle and bustle of daily life in the modern world tends to weaken that bond if we’re not careful to preserve it. It is important that throughout our design process we always strive to be cognizant of the profound impacts that nature can have on our lives, and the countless ways in which it can enrich them. One of the best ways to accomplish this goal is to look for inspiration in nature – a task that often does not take long, and is always rewarding.
In the vein of acknowledgement and appreciation for the importance of nature to man (and vice versa), there is a story written in the 1950’s by French author Jean Giono called The Man Who Planted Trees, which brings these tenets to the forefront in a very inspirational way. This story tells the tale of a shepherd who takes it upon himself to reforest an entire deserted valley in the French Alps, seed by seed, over the course of several decades. It is a beautiful account of a man who brings about a dramatic transformation in his little part of the world through to his deep appreciation for nature.
The Man Who Planted Trees was adapted as an animated short film in 1987 by Frederic Back and is available to view online. The film won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film and is well worth a watch. Sit back and enjoy!