Jan Johnsen: The Spirit of Stone

Jan Johnsen is a professional landscape designer and a principal of the established design/build firm, Johnsen Landscapes & Pools, in Westchester County, NY. She is also an award-winning instructor at the New York Botanical Garden and a contributing editor for Garden Design Magazine. For the last several years, Jan has written the popular garden blog, ‘Serenity in the Garden’ and Facebook page, ‘Serenity in the Garden blog’. Jan was awarded a 2014 Merit Award by the Association Professional Landscape Designers (APLD).

Ever since she worked in Japan as a college student, she has been an advocate of the transformative power of Nature upon our well-being. Her initial experiences of walking through ancient Japanese gardens made her aware of the power that serene outdoor spaces have to calm and refresh us. Jan went on to study landscape architecture at the University of Hawaii and was further influenced there.

Her travels took her back home to New York State, where she worked under a Versailles-trained French gardener at Mohonk Mountain House, learning the secrets of French horticulture and its rigorous, all-natural standards. In 2017 she published her 3rd book – ‘The Spirit of Stone’ a deep dive into the WHY? of using stone within our designed landscapes. Referencing historical precedents of man’s connection and use of this most basic of material she explores the deep relationship and resonance it obviously has and even in a little way within our own gardens we can benefit from continuing on that tradition.

Jan Johnsen: The spirit of Stone – audio only