2022 Summer Program


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Class #17

Seeing The Beauty Of The Wild

Darrel Morrison

May 22 - May 28, 2022


instructor image“A major part of the studies should be in the out of doors, interpreting the landscape in its various moods—the growth and fitness of individual and group plants in relation to topography and the influence of changing lights and shadows...excursions to the various types of landscape of the region are essential.”

Jens Jensen in the description of his proposed teaching program at The Clearing in the mid-1930s

This class will follow the philosophy of Danish-born Jens Jensen, learning from nature in the out of doors. You’ll explore the landscape of The Clearing property itself, studying the plant communities on the site and their composition and dynamics. You’ll see Jensen’s designed elements, like the vistas and views of Green Bay, the large open meadow and his “pathway to the morning sun,” and discuss their on-going management. The class will also go on excursions to the various types of landscapes of the region—places like The Ridges Sanctuary at Baileys Harbor and nearby Toft Point, now a State Natural Area. Throughout, you’ll be learning the plants and observing their distribution patterns, with periodic opportunities to sketch, paint watercolor and/or write about what you are seeing.

There will be opportunities, too, for some hands-on vegetation management, and for quick landscape design exercises, based on our field observations of the beauty of the wild.

Darrel Morrison grew up on an Iowa farm. He received a bachelor of science degree in landscape architecture from Iowa State University and a master of science degree in landscape architecture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1969. Since then, he has taught landscape architecture at UW-Madison (1969 to 1983) and at the University of Georgia (1983 to 2004). He then lived and worked in New York City from 2004 to 2015, then returned to Madison, where he is a Senior Honorary Faculty Associate in the UW-Madison Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture. Along the way, Darrel has designed landscapes inspired by nature at the UW-Madison Arboretum, Storm King Art Center in New York’s Hudson River Valley, the New York Botanical Garden, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and the Chicago Botanic Garden. He was awarded the Scott Medal by Swarthmore College in 2021 for his
“outstanding national contribution to the science and art of gardening.” Darrel’s book, Beauty of the Wild, was published by the Library of American Landscape History in 2021.

Darrel will contact students prior to class and will send a supply list.
Car pooling is needed for this class.

Level: All levels

Pricing (per person):
$1180 Dorm Room Package*
$1280 Two-Person Room Package*
$1920 Single-Person Room Package* (limited availability)
$675 Commuter Package** (limited availability)

*package includes tuition, lodging & 16 meals
**package includes tuition & 7 meals


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NEW IN 2022! In order to register online, you will need to sign into a Clearing User Account. Complete user account info and "How To's" can be found on our Clearing User Account Page.