Molly Sedlacek | Muses of Now
In her landscape design studio OR.CA, founder Molly Sedlacek embraces the harmony of the elemental, striving to organically “reincorporate materials a site is deficient of,” be it ground texture, shade, or a sense of place. Discover Molly’s philosophy with a visual journey through some of her favorite recent projects.
“‘Undone’ is a word and philosophy I come back to often. It’s what we are as humans: ever changing, evolving, vulnerable, aging, growing, decaying. And so is a garden.”
What are some of your most unusual sources of inspiration?
Textiles (pattern formed by fiber), estuaries (pattern formed by water), and aerial topography while on a plane. I love sitting in the window seat on a flight and seeing the plots of land and how they create small grids, big grids, and voids. Sometimes I imagine them as tiny garden layouts.
Cite a very specific recent source of inspiration:
“Moss is 300m yrs old. Home on every continent. No roots. No towering trunks, yet it tasted the air before the first feather, before shrews stirred the leaf litter. When your mind hisses like a kettle, look to your elder, to the green lessons of soft, simple quiet beneath the sun.” -Jarod Anderson
Cite a forever source of inspiration:
Andy Goldsworthy’s pieces “Earth Wall” and “Spire”
A lifelong mantra:
Deeper mental clarity is preceded by great internal storms.
The next place I really want to travel.
Really want to go to Japan this year.
I will always return to…
West Marin, CA Stay: Nick's Cove
Eat: Stillwater in Fairfax
Hike: Point Reyes Station National Seashore
Hike: Lucas Valley
What is your daily uniform?
Garden clogs from Plasticana, a jumpsuit, and a vintage bandana in my hair. Usually some flowers or twigs stuck to me somewhere. I go to meetings and prune my bay laurel in the same outfit.
Favorite discovery of the last year:
Tahini drizzled dates at Botanica restaurant in LA.
Something I recommend again and again:
Getting your hands dirty.
Molly’s advice for cultivating an ‘undone’ approach to a home garden or yard:
1. Reconnect with your inner child: What is your first memory of being in a garden? What did it taste like, what did it smell like, what did it feel like? This is your blueprint; it can be an ally as you navigate creating space.
2. Another question: when do you feel best outdoors? Whether it’s bathing, tending to plants, gathering, cooking, or resting– these use cases become the “rooms” in the garden.
3. From there, think about palettes you gravitate toward: Foggy cool tones, or warm dusty pinks. Soft, wispy layers or structured, sculptural plants. Smooth uniform surfaces or textured and variegated. The materials within this palette become your paint brush. Layer it on and don’t look back.