Robert E. Grese, professor of landscape architecture at the University of Michigan, describes Bailey as, "one of the seminal figures in American Horticulture, plant science, landscape gardening, and conservation in the twentieth century." This volume features selections from Bailey's, The Outlook to Nature along with Grese's trove of luminaries culled from his research including Frederick Law Olmsted, Jens Jensen, Andrew Jackson Downing, Horace William Shaler Cleveland, and O.C. Simonds.
This gives us a good excuse to revisit a selection from Bailey's gem of a book. As Bailey explained, "The outlook to nature is the outlook to optimism, for nature is our governing condition." Enjoy!_______________
By nature, I mean the natural out-of-doors, — the snow and the rain, the sky, the plants, the animals, the garden and the orchard, the running brooks, and every landscape that is easy of access and undefiled.
Every person desires these things in greater or lesser degree: this is indicated by the rapidly spreading suburban movement, by the vacationing in the country, and by the astonishing multiplication of books about nature. Yet there are comparatively very few persons who have any intimate contact with nature, or any concrete enjoyment from it, because they lack the information that enables them to understand the objects and phenomena.