Dr Abe V Rotor
I observed a gardener arrange a piece of landscape at UST. I was on my way to meet my class in the graduate school, but this time this kind gardener became my mentor.
A layer of stones around the base of a tree and at the blind corner of a building makes a neat and clean appearance. It transformed a taken-for-granted area into something Japanese and American and Filipino combined.
It made me wonder if there is a purist version of a landscape, say strictly Italian, or French, or Chinese. None as I know, except that certain emphasis expresses a nationality. For example, the Japanese garden is basically made of rocks and stone and sand. An American garden is perhaps the closest to nature - it runs its course like a flowing stream or a climbing liana. What amazes me is the fine taste of artisans, who we think are not sensitive to "fine arts." On the contrary they do - some better than us.
So the fellow - Jun, sir he said when I asked his name - demonstrated the steps. He laid down a mat of used plastic with holes he added with a pick. So that water with not accumulate, he explained, and stones and soil are separated. The plastic will asphyxiate weeds that grow from below. I supplied the term from his vernacular term.
To break the monotony of the stones he planted peanut grass on the periphery, and covered the drainage cover with stones - camouflage was what he meant. And how about emphasis? Just a boulder he couldn't take away from view. It's there and it's part of it. Jun is a philosopher, too.
I received more than knowledge itself. I learned a lesson in life from a simple man who simply love his work, and willing to share it. Which led me to ask, What really is a professor?